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normal day

by Shawni

My sister Saydi posted a quote about a “normal day” on her Instagram account a couple weeks ago and I’ve been thinking of it ever since.

“A normal day! Holding it in my hand this one last moment, I have come to see it as more than an ordinary rock, it is a gem, a jewel. In time of war, in peril of death, people have dug their hands and faces into the earth and remembered this. In time of sickness and pain, people have buried their faces in pillows and wept for this. In time of loneliness and separation, people have stretched themselves taut and waited for this. In time of hunger, homelessness, and wants, people have raised bony hands to the skies and stayed alive for this.

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky, and want more than all the world your return. And then I will know what now I am guessing: that you are, indeed, a common rock and not a jewel, but that a common rock made of the very mass substance of the earth in all its strength and plenty puts a gem to shame.”

– Mary Jean Iron

Oh! How I love thinking of the normal day as “a common rock made of the very mass substance…that puts a gem to shame.”

And Oh! How I tend to take “normal days” for granted. Those ones where there is nothing special going on. No engagements, no events. Just the monotonous hum of a household churning through minutes. The preparations for dinner strewn across the counter. The minutes before piano lessons. The arms thrown around me from my volleyball girl on her way out the door. Bo wagging her tail in my shadow. Dave coming in, elbows flying doing the happy dance at the end of his work day. The sometimes tears at not getting things right. A normal text from a friend to buoy me up.

And yes, even sometimes influx of heartbeats yearning to be in three places at the same time. My “common rock” made more beautiful when I leave two of them and chose the most important one…especially when that “most important one” includes snuggling with a child who needs me, and I’m “there” to be needed.

Some sunlight streaming through, especially when noticed on a heavy day.

A pang of gratitude for a discussion at dinnertime.

The pull of “us” bigger than the pull of everything else.

Yes, a normal day is a beautiful thing.

…especially when those “normal days” used to be filled with your missionary you miss!

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6 comments

Sanz December 14, 2020 - 10:57 am

Hi Shawni! I too love this passage and thought you’d enjoy knowing the author’s name is Mary Jean Irion. It comes from the essay, “Let Me Hold You While I May”, in the book, “Yes, World. A Mosaic of Meditation”, published in 1970. Normal days are the best of days! <3

**This gal dug up the info:
http://tinalewisrowe.com/2012/04/23/normal-day-was-written-by-mary-jean-irion/

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Shawni December 16, 2020 - 7:10 pm

Thank you so much for the information, Sanz! I appreciate knowing a little more background, and I also realized I misspelled that last name, better fix that! Thanks again!
xoxo

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Heidi December 14, 2020 - 3:42 pm

Oh I feel this right now . Our province went into semi lockdown. No one inside your home unless they permanently reside there. No visiting outside, no group , no weddings. No school for jr/sr high. Stores open 15% capacity for 1 month. So no fsmily to be together at all over Christmas unless they permanently live in your home. It’s a hard year for sure

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Shawni December 16, 2020 - 7:11 pm

Oh Heidi, you’re right, this is definitely a tough year for sure! Sending love to your home under lockdown!
xoxo

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Courtney C. December 14, 2020 - 4:53 pm

So much truth in this. I think a lot of us see longing for a “normal day” amidst the pandemic.

I’m a long time blog reader for the first time I think Claire looks like Max! That smile in the pic with Grace reminds me of Max.

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Shawni December 16, 2020 - 7:12 pm

That’s funny, so strange to see the resemblance in your children spout up here and there!
It will be nice when we have “normal days” again, and oh! How I hope we will cherish them and not forget.
xoxo

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