To write a few words about an ordinary day in my life doesn’t seem like too big of a task and yet now, as never before in the span of my lifetime, there are no ordinary days.
Yesterday I paused at the door to a coffee shop before I entered—it was to be the first time I entered such an establishment in three months—and for a split-second, I felt a catch in my stomach. It wasn’t fear, that sensation in my body, it was more a manifestation of the slow burn that has been fed in recent months by news reports and quiet conversations. All is not as it was.
And yet, despite face masks worn by staff inside, lines on the floor to indicate acceptable social distancing, and about half the number of tables, the important things remained.
The coffee was good. I spread whipped butter on a slice of banana bread, and it was good. But, best of all, the conversation between friends was comfortable and very, very good.
We joked because it had been so long since we were able to meet.
“I was going to wear a red carnation so you’d know who I was.”
We laughed, uncomfortable at first because we were still adjusting to life in the Twilight Zone, but the moment passed and we sat and sipped and talked and laughed and before long it was as if no time had passed between visits at all.
Man, it felt good. And ordinary.
We talked about “flattening the curve” and “social distancing” and wondered about the reason behind the shortage of yeast and flour. We caught one another up on our families, danced lightly around some topics as we felt one another out, forgetting, for a moment, what it’s like to talk to someone with whom the relationship is more important than agreement on every single jot and tittle.
Then we remembered.
And man, it felt good. And extraordinary.
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Since 2011, One Woman’s Day has made space for telling stories about our ordinary days—days made extraordinary upon closer examination. Through writing and sharing and reading stories we’ve come to understand something about the lives of women. Our experiences are different but, as Maya Angelou taught us: “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”
Today I want to acknowledge, and thank, Kalí Rourke for her work as One Woman’s Day coordinator. Under her guidance, storytelling has continued and community has strengthened. Kalí is stepping away to pursue other opportunities and I’m stepping back into the role of blog coordinator. I look forward to having a front-row seat to your stories again.
Thank you Kalí, and all of you who continue to share the stories about your ordinary and extraordinary days. Here’s to many more years of storytelling here at One Woman’s Day!