Book of the Week #15

The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir by Katrina Kenison (NY: Springboard Press, 2009)

This book is a chronicle of Katrina Kenison's experience of her sons' increasing independence as they grow up and move away. It is also about perspective generally, and how we--as human beings, mothers or not--might find beauty amidst the ordinary in our lives.

"Finally, we reach the spot where the river bends and the view opens up to marshes and mountains. One golden day last fall, I came into this clearing in time to see two moose lumbering up out of the water after a swim. Today, the roiling water is dark and uninviting; the soaked landscape, empty, devoid of color and life. We are suspended between seasons, like becalmed sailors waiting for wind. It used to be that these cold patchy-snow weeks of in-between time would fill me with discontent, so easger was I for spring, for the warmth of the sun and and the turn of the season, for good footing and new, green life. For whatever might be next. But on this damp, wind-tossed afternoon, what I feel is not my old restless yearning for something else, but a new, unfamiliar patience. Why rush the passing of time? Why long for a future that can't be foretold, only to miss the muddy magnificence of now?
Perhaps it takes a lifetime to really learn to live fully in the moment, but there is no better classroom than the raw, damp month of April in New Hampshire. As soon as I stop wishing for things to be different, I am met by the beauty of what is--a country road slick with rain, the first tiny coils of sweet fern, tender and delicate as question marks, poking up through the hummusy leaf rot on the forest floor." (p.284-5)

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