Ordinary yet extra-ordinary moments

Morning icicle

A day is so often filled with many ordinary–yet extra-ordinary–moments.  If we’re speeding too fast along the highway of life we miss these precious moments.  We gloss over them.  We let them pass without realizing their precious nature, without saying thank you.

An icicle gleaming in the sunrise can be passed as we scurry from chore to chore…or it can be savored in an awe-struck way.  A jewel shines from the eaves.  What a way to begin a day!

Journal and coffee at the kitchen table

Sometimes we have the opportunity to sit quietly at our kitchen table, sipping delicious coffee and soymilk (OK, OK, you can put what you want in your coffee!) Sometimes we pull out our journal–like I did this morning–feeling so relaxed and peaceful–and write poetry.

I tried to write words of presence, whittling the words upwards from the cusp of the magic moment.  Are you ready?  Want to hear?  No scorn, please. Especially when you read the part about coffee curtsying.  This is CREATIVITY, folks.

The words that tumbled upon the journal pages and created inner glee:

Blue jay hides behind tuft of spruce. 

 Clouds swim by obscuring blue dreams. 

Washing machine shimmies in dim basement

  dispelling dirty water beneath pristine snow. 

Pen clinks, chimes against coffee cup.

Coffee curtsies into awaiting mouth, belly,

the long journey back to itself.

Vegetable scraps for the deer. Identification?

I tossed vegetable scraps to the deer and simply had to snap a photograph.  Dozens of folks searched for “vegetable scraps” and found my blog last year.  Secret magical hint:  if you want more blog readers, take a photo of vegetable scraps.  They’ll come running.  Heck, maybe they’re looking for soup recipes.

Skis and snowshoes all lined up.

So I didn’t go snowshoeing or skiing today.  Instead, after the creative stint I journeyed the nine miles into town.  First stop:  haircut.  Just a trim, please.  My stylist, Sandy, and her husband are adopting a Chinese boy later next summer.  She showed photos.  Another extra-ordinary moment as Sandy shared her joy and excitement.

Next extra-ordinary moment followed the hair-trimming.  I stopped by the Nite Owl Restaurant for two scrambled eggs and homemade whole wheat toast.  I always order the same thing.  Settled down to read a book about creativity, when Hud, an 84-year old gentleman, asked if he could join me.

What stories he shared!  It was such a delight to reconnect with my friend from years ago.  He entertained with stories of his three missionary trips to Zimbabwe.  He has such a funny sense of humor.  When we said goodbye, he insisted upon paying for the bill.  I tried to protest but he said, “You try to pay–I’ll have to cut off your arm!”  (It really was funny…maybe you had to be there…)

Broken river of pavement on our road

Then I met my friend Lyn for a three-mile walk through town.  We opted for a town walk rather than a country walk, due to the road conditions.  The miracle of the walk:  three miles passed in an instant!  We shared so enthusiastically that we didn’t even notice our excellent work-out.

Home:  sat at the computer to check email and Facebook and suddenly a friend we met in Belgium in November, 2008, starts chatting.  How fun!  How extra-ordinary!  What an afternoon gift.

Tonight I just returned from a township budget meeting.  Everyone sat around the table planning our tiny (482 people in the 2000 census) township budget.  It was an evening of warmth and laughter.  No disagreements, no fuss.  An ordinary extra-ordinary meeting.  A blessing.

Does anyone have a special moment or two you might share about YOUR day today?  An ordinary extra-ordinary moment?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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28 Responses to Ordinary yet extra-ordinary moments

  1. Okay, special moments? Major snow fall in the Berkshires this afternoon. As I walked to meet my girl at her bus stop I looked up into my favorite chestnut tree across the street and the snow highlighted all it’s upward shape. Many tree branches go out and a little up, but with the white edging the chestnut looked all glorious against the sky.
    Big clumps of snow fell.
    I loved feeling effective with my shovel and broom.
    Overhearing my girl listening to James Taylor as she gets ready for bed, hoping for a snow day, so her jammies will be inside out.

    I love checking in on your posts. The image of the road today was wonderful! Thank you for your walks! Love, S

    • Kathy says:

      Suzi, I loved hearing your special moments. (Everybody’s special moments!) Just reading these are so heart-warming. Your girl with her jammies inside out. The chestnut tree against the sky. So wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Dawn says:

    First – the vegetables: Sweet potatoe, beet and turnip?

    My extra ordinary day suddenly changed to an extraordinary day when the phone rang a bit after 3. One of my employment applications had caught the eye of a library director and now I have an interview tomorrow at 1. Was going to color the gray in my hair tomorrow. Myself. In the laundry room sink. Splurged and called hairdresser who happened to have an opening today at 3:30. So got hair done. Then went to yoga tonight to relax. Or try to.

    All in all a good and unexpected day.

    • Kathy says:

      Vegetable truth-telling! They are (trumpet roll, please…) sweet potato, red potatos and rutabaga! All three oven-roasted to delicious sweetness. Oh, yum.

      As for your day: WOW! How very very exciting!! I hope your interview went wonderful today. (Bet it did with that new hair color and the yoga.) That was really an extra-ordinary day indeed. 🙂

  3. Dawn says:

    Should learn to spell potato! Me and that Dan Vice President guy.

  4. Fountainpen says:

    Extraordinary/Ordinary moment of my day: I was standing at the checkout counter in the grocery store. A woman next to me questioned all of us where she might find a tea kettle. She was tired of microwaving water for tea. I offered a suggestion and that led to a wonderful conversation about tea pots as well….and my introducing her to yixing tea pots….and promising to email a picture of one reasonably priced. All of this happened within five moments at the checkout counter…two people who like tea, talking to one another: one who likes tea from yixing teapots…the other who likes tea made from water boiled in a tea kettle!


    • Kathy says:

      OK, fountainpen, you’ve got us all curious! What the heck is a yixing tea pot??? I am an avid tea drinker (heating up some hot water in a regular tea kettle right now for a cup of peppermint tea.) Loved hearing your chance encounter and how it lead to such a neat sense of intimacy at the grocery store. YES! Yes for these ordinary wonderful moments!!

  5. Reggie says:

    Are the veggie-scraps butternut squash, sweet potato and beetroot?

    And that was a lovely poem… it’s left me feeling all cosy and peaceful.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Reggie, everybody was right about the sweet potato anyway! (Did you see the answer up above in the comments?) As for liking my poem…getting cozy and peaceful feeling…I want to hug you way over there in South Africa. Thank you. It was so peaceful writing it.

  6. Lovely post Kathy – particularly the vegetable scraps. My day was an ordinary tweet day with some extraordinary conversations where I was asked for my squash recipe (I gave it in 140 characters) after responding to a question about what was I feeling blessed about. It seemed like “chatting at the kitchen table” but it wasn’t… just a tweet in the tweet stream that connected my squash soup simmering on the stove to someone else far away with a squash in their fridge they wanted to cook… so is the blur between my physical day and my on-line day.

    • Kathy says:

      Terrill, I am grinning at an “ordinary tweet day”. That sounds sweet. I am amazed that you could put a squash recipe in 140 characters!! How in the world did you do that? I would love to be sampling some of your squash soup right now. Mmmm, sounds so good. Love it when there is that blur of connection between so many worlds.

  7. Kathy,

    I loved the words and the photograph:
    “Melting road…a patterned river of broken pavement.”

  8. Cindy Lou says:

    Hmmmmm…….let’s see…..I had a root canal done which I’ve never had before and it was relatively painless! That’s my ordinary for the day….and I was quite thankful for it as I had heard horror stories. Once again, Kathy, thank you for reminding me to be mindful of ordinary extraordinariness!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy Lou, a relatively painless root canal is extraordinary! Oh how wonderful…(P.S. the reason I write this kind of stuff is to remind me to be mindful of ordinary extraordinariness!)

  9. flandrumhill says:

    ‘Washing machine shimmies in dim basement
    dispelling dirty water beneath pristine snow’

    I like those lines. Nice to know there’s someone else who has a hose to the outside for the grey laundry water. I also have soy milk in my coffee. It makes a nice froth if you shake the milk right before you pour it.

    For the vegetables, I’m guessing turnip, sweet potato, red potato and beet.

    My special moments yesterday were seeing a snowshoe hare run out of the woods towards me and waking up to Tim Hortons coffee brought in by my son.

    Nice to know Cindy had a pleasant root canal. Hope all goes well at Dawn’s interview:)

    • Kathy says:

      Amy, that is incredible what you just said. About shaking the soymilk to get a nice froth. Honestly, I did that for the first time EVER yesterday. Then you went and wrote a comment about it. Incredible synchronicity.

      Your special moments were lovely. Coffee brought by one’s son upon waking and a snowshoe hare! Can life get any better than this?

  10. Cindy Lou says:

    Shoot…..I meant to wish Dawn good luck on her interview, too. Good thing Amy reminded me! Great, good luck, Dawn…I’m sure that anyone would be pleased to have you on their team!

  11. janet says:

    Thanks for the tip on how to drive blog traffic 🙂 Veggie scraps: Sweet potato & white potato peels & pineapple are my guesses!

    I’ve been having a blog conversation about ordinary love vs extra ordinary love with a fellow haiku-ista. In one breath I argue for the extraordinariness of any love at all, and in the next I recognize that there is a transcendent quality to some kinds of love.

    The point you make about slowing down enough to see the extra ordinary is well taken, and I liken it to using the macro lens with the camera. An ordinary little feather becomes something utterly amazing when examined up close.

    Lovely post Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      So, Janet, I’m guessing you have just written a haiku about vegetable scraps? Right? Will be heading over to your blog soon to see… Just watch your traffic count then! You’ll be off the charts. LOL!

      Love your analogy of the macro lens of the camera. That is so appropos. The closer you get to that feather, the more you’re blown away by the intricacy of it. Thanks for stopping by and sharing…

  12. Fountainpen says:

    When all thoughts

    By Ryokan
    (1758 – 1831) English version by John Stevens

    When all thoughts
    Are exhausted
    I slip into the woods
    And gather
    A pile of shepherd’s purse.

    Like the little stream
    Making its way
    Through the mossy crevices
    I, too, quietly
    Turn clear and transparent.

    Hey Team! I’ll share what I know about yixing teapots if anyone will share what she/he knows about shepherd’s purses?????


    • Kathy says:

      Oh that poem is lovely, fountainpen. Laughing at your “Hey Team!” I knew something about shepherd’s purse at one time (when we were foraging for wild foods, I think) but it’s lost in the recesses of the mind. I’ll bet flandrumhill knows about shepherd’s purse. Flandrumhill!! Can you help us out? (she’s a walking encyclopedia. Better than google…)

  13. Barbara says:

    Kathy, an extraordinary moment for me today was seeing the very first photo on your blog, the sunrise icicle. It stopped me in my tracks and I thank you for sharing a stunning photographic work of art! I haven’t seen an icicle that long since I was a kid, and to have the sun turning it into a glittering jewel… But that’s not all. I was struck with how its vertical line so gracefully paralleled the lines of the trees. So pretty!

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, I am glad you enjoyed the sunrise icicle. It seemed to look so striking all glittery and parallel with the background trees. Your appreciation just turned this moment into a jewel for me! (Hope you’re enjoying some off-line time and deep peaceful breathing…enjoying unexpected jewels.)

  14. hartleyjames says:

    Just found your blog and was tickled to find out you lived in the UP- the magical place over the bridge. I am going to have a place up there sometime in my life – as I read your blogs, I found myself revisiting past moments that I’ve journeyed to your northern space and rekindled my soul. I look forward to receiving future posts…

    • Kathy says:

      Nice to meet another Michigander! The UP is certainly a magical place over the bridge–but I’ve had lots of magical moments below the bridge too! (grew up in “The Thumb”.) Hope you can rekindle your soul many times in our Great North Woods. Thanks for visiting this blog.

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