Ordinary things

We are in the transformation season. In this thin, long autumn light, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. I am hushed by the turning. This morning, the wren outside my window is a palm-sized wonder: that small beak, the focused bead eyes, every little feather.

This must be what new parents feel, the discovery of every detail, all of it a miracle, all of it so ordinary, saying again and again, how did we not see? before this, how did we see at all?

In spring’s crisp newness, life bursts with fresh possibility. But in this dying season, I feel a similar sense of wonder, though tempered with patience. Now, in these short days, there is a tender ache of acceptance. We are all so beautiful, all so flawed.

It’s a shame and a mystery, really, how our sight changes, how autumn’s soft glow can lift and elevate, can help us see in everything beauty. In beauty, everything.

The Patience of Ordinary Things

Pat Schneider

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they're supposed to be
I've been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?

The Patience of Ordinary Things by Pat Schneider from Another River: New and Selected Poems. © Amherst Writers and Artists Press, 2005.

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