There are the certainties that come with life that can be painful: death, taxes, changing planes in Atlanta. There are the seasonal bumps in life that come at an inconvenient time: colds and flu, yard cleanup, leaky plumbing, exam time. There are the nagging sorrows that weigh you down: watching someone you love struggle with hardship, heartache, accident, injury, or illness. Then too there are small pleasures in ordinary time.
Christian liturgical churches mark Ordinary Time on their calendars. It is comprised of non-festival days and comes at two periods of time during the year. The time after the Epiphany of Our Lord until Ash Wednesday which begins the Lenten season, and then again after Pentecost at the conclusion of the Easter season until the beginning of Advent. The liturgical color for these Sundays is green. While Ordinary Time is important, it excludes the great festivals of the church year. Ordinary Time comprises more than half of the year. Green suggests growing things and new life.
I link small pleasures with Ordinary Time as it seems that we have time to notice them better then. We each have things that catch us unawares and bring a smile. Valentine’s day with our lovely picnic, which I wrote about in my last post, was a small pleasure in our life. The little birds and ground squirrels, the white fluffy clouds and yellow flowering creosote bushes were delightful. My nephew recently visited and we had such a good time catching up with each other and then last night I ironed the freshly laundered linen napkins we used. Yes, I know I’m weird but I love ironing napkins and seeing a drawer full of linen napkins all pressed and eager for the next dinner guests.
I love bringing order to that which is in disarray, and since my exit from my former job, I have laced my days with little organizing tasks which have resulted in accomplishment and pleasure. Our home office has been substantially tamed with file boxes organized and moved to storage in our garage. Small pleasures that help. Places that once were catch-alls for the stuff that piles up when you are too busy to deal with it are now much more accessible and useful. Small pleasures.
Yesterday morning began with a jolly call from my daughter and then a walk home from the park brought us to a seed pod for a red flowering Fairy Duster. It is now planted in a little pot on our windowsill. The act of planting it brought a smile to my husband and the thought of it growing brings me anticipatory joy for our yard.
Small pleasures often pass us by without fanfare or accolade – but when life slows sufficiently for us to notice them – it is a lovely thing. Thank you, Lord, for Ordinary Time and all of the small pleasures that lace our days.