For the past two weeks, we have been up to our ears SPECIAL around here. School closing ceremonies, end-of -the-year gatherings, class parties, college reunions, championship games. Special is. . . . special. Special is high drama delight in the midst of the regular mundane, the ice cream after your healthy square meal.
I gathered this past weekend with woman from all over the country, some of whom I have not seen since we dispersed from the ceremony marking our graduation in front of the imposingly beautiful LeMans Hall. There was much to discuss, much to share, and plenty of reminiscing going on, but I was struck by this one driving curiosity:
We wanted to know the ordinary.
Shortly after reuniting, we quickly dispensed with resumes, residency, and number of dependents and got down to business.
We dug into the ordinary.
Who are your people? Who do you love? How do you spend your days? How long does that take you? What saw you through that time? How do you do dinner when you have three kids and arrive home from work every day at 6:00? How do you manage the after school activities? What keeps you up at night? What's your stance on cell phones and social media? How long is your commute? How do you manage that? What's next for you?
And my personal favorite. . .
Give me a regular Tuesday. Walk me through your day.
Let me in to your regular life. Let me spend some time with you. We don't need the unusual or the special. We yearned to know the everyday mundane, where the beautiful and sacred reside. In Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World, Emily P. Freeman discusses how Tuesdays, being the most ordinary of days, are examples of the smallest, but most glorious things in life. How we spend our Tuesdays is how we spend our lives.
Cheryl, my sweet, hilarious, remarkable roommate, wished we could come back and just do one regular day. Not graduation. Not football games, parties, or dances.
Just one regular Tuesday, with classes, meals, homework, and dorm life.
The ordinary is the good stuff. The ordinary is when we see people's strength of character and expressions of faith.
The ordinary is where life is lived.
I find it to be no mistake that the bulk of the liturgical calendar marks Ordinary Time.
When gathered, we did what we had had always done. We walked the campus, visited our old dorms, journeyed to the Grotto. We listened to our music and laughed until we cried and shared meals and joys and struggles. Pain and grief. Confusion and clarity. The real, beautiful, hard stuff of our lives.
Thank you, Saint Mary's College, for being the place where we discovered how we wanted to spend our extraordinary, yet extremely ordinary lives. Thank you for giving us each other. Thank you for teaching us truth and giving us SPES UNICA, one hope. Thank you for showing us that glory is to be found in the ordinary.