A return to the rhythm of the ordinary sometimes feels sacred. Whether the extraordinary event feels joyful like a wedding or burdensome like a pandemic, our energy shifts to accomplishing this feat. We gear up to get it done. Nine more treatments ‘til we ring the bell at the radiation office. Maybe it’s a simple house project or a huge church renovation and we count down the days until we can settle back into our space and return to normal.

The body seems to know when we can relax again. Breathe again. Sleep soundly again. The spirit attunes our vision to notice the simplicity of a cardinal on the bird feeder or the softness of a peony blossom. (As I write this the first bright yellow finch of spring darts into my backyard).  Sometimes, our return to a calendar filled with only ordinary routines comes as a welcome gift.

The Christian calendar is divided into seasons: Advent for waiting for God; Christmas for celebrating Christ’s birth, Epiphany for the aha moment when God shows up; Lent for the journey to the cross; Easter for the miracle of new life; Pentecost for the Spirit’s breathing to the community of faith called the church. But the longest stretch is from Summer into the Fall and it’s called “Ordinary time.”

The color for “Ordinary” is green (note the green stoles on the clergy robes from June through November). Because in Ordinary time, God’s Spirit grows in us. Like the earth in its season of fruit-bearing, our lives can find joy and delight in ordinary times. I love how the poet Mary Oliver calls us to experience the holy in the midst of ordinary life.

Eat bread and understand comfort.
Drink water, and understand delight.
Visit the garden where the scarlet trumpets
are opening their bodies for the hummingbirds
who are drinking the sweetness, who are
thrillingly gluttonous.
For one thing leads to another.
Soon you will notice how stones shine underfoot.
Eventually tides will be the only calendar you believe in.
And someone’s face, whom you love, will be as a star
both intimate and ultimate,
and you will be both heart-shaken and respectful.

excerpt from: To Begin with, the Sweetgrass

Grace and Peace,