“Ordinary” Wrapped up in Extraordinary

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We continue to edge deeper into the holiday season, leaving the green grass and gentle breezes of ordinary time behind. This is not to say there has not been the extraordinary, both beautiful and excruciatingly challenging within the reeds and gentle winds, but the temperature is now dramatically changing. The challenge now is to find the “ordinary” within the extraordinary. The small spaces in the largely decorated places. The remembrance of warm cups of coffee and a glint of sunlight amongst a big season, loud, wonderfully in-your-face season.

I hope to be able to hold hands with both “the biggies”- the extraordinary, and the ordinary things that come my way. These are a few ways I might try:

– biggie: buy and write out cards   -ordinary: brew a hot cup of tea and let the card                                                            writing last for 1 1/2 hours instead of 1- moving a                                                        little bit slowly and nourishing the process

-biggie: shop for presents online    -ordinary: stop and read a great passage from a                                                           inspiring book, chew on it for a few moments,                                                             even have a conversation about it with someone

-biggie: try to use up all the Thanksgiving leftovers in the refrigerator

-ordinary: re-member how each dish was shared, people’s reactions to it, mine as well, and incorporate it into a new dish, now re-imagined with memory and gratitude.

May you make the ordinary feel extraordinary in the gratitude of the moment.

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Second Rite of Passage Reflection: Ginny’s reverie

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One of the amazing things about setting up sacred container for a rite of passage is getting to enjoy the surprises that come up and grab you by the shoulders (and sometimes, kiss you exuberantly on the cheek!) A shining example would be the evening Ginny was caught in a late night reverie. I made my way in the dark to my daughter’s nesting place. “What are you thinking about?”

“All the women here and what I like about them.”

“Do you mind sharing?”

“No. Say a name.”

“How about Karmyn.”

“I was just thinking about her when you walked in. She’s so engaged in her life now as a wife and a mother. She’s so grateful for everything. I really like that about her.”

Tricia.

“I like that she wants to do everything wholeheartedly; she’s so involved in her community and her life- she’s focused, and yet she has the ability to cry in front of others, too.”

Sharon. “She is both smart and fun. She’s a lawyer, she’s been to seminary, and she slides around the kitchen on pretend roller skates.”

Nancy. “She is so honest. She doesn’t hold anything back. She puts it out there. I really like that about her.”

Maril. “She’s just so comfortable being herself. That makes others comfortable with being themselves. That’s a good thing.”

Jessie. “She has this ability to listen- I mean really listen. Not many people are able to do that- to focus her whole attention on what you’re saying and really listen.”

“What about me? Do you feel like sharing?” I say.

“Mom, I can’t believe you take the time, months to plan something like this. You have patience, and you know how to create these events. Why don’t you get together more often with these friends?”

I think about it. Time. I think. Time, and growing up.

Which, in reality, is exactly why we should be getting together more often.

And then I realize that the other gift Ginny is receiving here is gratitude. A deep appreciation for the souls surrounding her. There’s not much more a mother could want.

Good-night, Ginny.

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