The incredible gift
“The incredible gift of the ordinary! Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life.” — Macrina Wiederkehar
One of the hardest things about the past year has been the need to cancel no fewer than three scheduled visits to see my parents. It’s good that our grandson happened to be born in Atlanta, so I finally was able to stay with Mama and Daddy when I went to see Grady. I had not seen them for more than a year, and it felt like forever.
I took this photo one morning after arising to an everyday scene that becomes more dear to me each time I see it. I know a day likely will come when I would give so much for one more chance to wake up to this sight. Mama and Daddy were preparing freshly picked beans from their organic garden, and Mama protested when I brought out my camera (and she might be mortified if Daddy tells her about the photo appearing on this blog), but she has always been a good sport about such things.
I think she looks pretty good for a woman in her 80’s who has just gotten up and hasn’t yet dressed, combed her hair or put on makeup. As is her frequent custom, she prioritized getting a start on dinner before tending to her personal appearance. I know you can probably guess who she sent out to pick those beans, long before I got up!
I had enthusiastically devoured the freshly picked purple-hull peas and cornbread they fixed the day before, so I appreciated her fresh vegetables and wanted a photo of her as I’ve seen her countless times. To me she is beautiful any time, as is my Daddy, whose longsuffering smile has always brightened my spirits.
Today you probably will come in contact with at least a few people who are dear to you. Chances are there won’t be any special occasions to photograph, but it’s the everyday memories we will treasure most anyway. Take a minute or two to snap some digital or mental images of your extraordinary ordinary life, and cherish these incredible gifts for many years to come.
This post was first published seven years ago today. Those of you who know me well can guess how bittersweet it is to read these words again. The day I refer to in the second paragraph above is now here, and has been arriving every day for years now. If only I could go back for just a moment to that morning! On the other hand, there’s a sense in which I really can be there again. I love looking at this photograph. I still feel Mama and Daddy looking at me with the same expressions: Mama, eternally no-nonsense but willing to make allowances for my whimsy (which I always felt she enjoyed vicariously) and Daddy, wise, humble, funny and loving, through and through.
The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.