Monday, December 09, 2013

Extraordinarily Ordinary

So what is a girl to do when kanswer is no longer her main squeeze? What does a girl do with her time when there isn't another doctor's appointments for four months? What does a girl write about when kanswer is no longer the main theme of her life? When the port is gone? When the scars are healed? When the tears flow less frequently and life flows more smoothly? What will keep a girl from feeling like life is a bit too ordinary? And what is it gonna take for me to stop referring to myself as a girl?!?

Life is feeling pretty ordinary these days.
Cooking, dusting, doing laundry.
Vacuuming, mopping, sweeping.
Replacing light fixtures and light bulbs.
Ironing, organizing and decluttering.
Making beds, laying out towels, and welcoming friends for overnight visits.

Driving with Daniel to tennis and the gym.
Driving with Kristiana to the bookstore and the supermarket.
Reading, writing, journaling.
Preparing to teach Sunday School.
Lifting weights, jumping on my rebounder, and doing yoga.

Talking on the phone, telling stories, listening to adventurous tales.
Surfing the internet, doing my daily writing practice, dreaming about the future.
Raking leaves, ducking raindrops, going on long walks.
Sleeping, waking, exercising, showering.
Then doing it all over again. Day after day.
Extraordinarily ordinary.

Last week, Daniel and I took a field trip to the Columbia (SC) zoo. He drove the last 45 minutes or so - he has his learner's permit, so it was an excellent opportunity for him to practice his highway driving. Ninety minutes in the car each way - we talked and laughed and listened to music together. I'm enormously grateful that he doesn't isolate himself under a dome of headphones and ignore me when we are in the car.

Even though most of the enclosures are too small for them and they deserve to run free, the animals fascinated both of us. We laughed and groaned and held our noses and asked questions and took photos and oohed and aahed with intense delight at the wonder of creation. I love animals - as long as they are behind plexiglass, well-controlled, or weigh less than 25 pounds.

I told Daniel that God must have a pretty wild imagination to come up with all the designs and models for animals and plants. Elephants? Giraffes? Galapagos Island turtles? Meerkats? Penguins? Ostrich? Birds that swim underwater? Birds that are too heavy to fly? Alligators and crocodiles? Why both? Wouldn't one or the other have been enough? Howler monkeys? Why put the red butts on those other monkeys? How is it that koalas can spend so much time sleeping in the trees and never fall? And who needs all the species of snakes? Seriously, why so many snakes, Lord?

We didn't get bitten by anything or chased by anything - and for me that counts as a good day at the zoo. Not that I've ever been bitten by anything at the zoo before, but several years ago at the main zoo here in North Carolina, I was standing near the plexiglass of the gorilla enclosure when one of the gorillas ran towards the glass and slammed into it with great force. If there had been no glass or if the glass had been breakable, that beast would have killed me with the impact of the collision. I am glad I was too young to have a heart attack, but the sound of that massive animal hitting that impossibly thin piece of plastic nearly caused my heart to explode.

The docent who hosted the "gorilla encounter" told us that the gorilla in these two photos 
is 29 years old, weighs nearly 400 pounds, and has the strength of five or six adult men. 

Carmelized onion pizza and salad for dinner tonight.
Watching Monday Night Football.
Sending and receiving text messages.
Cutting images and words out of a magazine and gluing them into my journal.
Paying a medical bill that insurance didn't cover.
Walking the 8 pound dog that rules our roost.

Extraordinarily ordinary.
Ordinary and extraordinary.

Remembering and honoring the fact that a year ago, I couldn't do most of those things.
I certainly couldn't do them without feeling exhausted.
Right about now, ordinary feels pretty darned extraordinary.
Thanks be to God.

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