I love ordinary days, days when I have nothing in the diary and nowhere I have to be. As I wake, I savour the feeling of ordinariness. I dress and send up my thanks to God for another new morning. Coffee and a whizz pop (not what you think) made with spinach leaves, rocket, ginger, soft fruit, goji berries and apple is a green delight that I just know sets me up for the day. There is a newly delivered bag of locally sourced forestry firewood to unload, so I lift the barrow from the back to the front and don my splinter-defence gloves. I love such physical work and the regularity of such work strengthens and empowers me. After all, I can do anything, for I am Woman.
Prior to the unload I fill up the bird feeders with nuts and fat balls and seed for the birds that have been lining my fence awhile now, since first light, in fact, chirruping their encouragement with increasing volume and impatience. They depend on me and my fat balls etc, and if I am away, I feel guilty. It takes them a day or two to return after I’ve abandoned them to Winter’s meagre pickings. This morning I watch a goldfinch alight on the peanuts. I see his rainbow colours flash as he pecks at his breakfast, seeing off any cheeky tits with a few swear words. I learn that he is higher than they in the pecking order, for they only try to move in once, dashing back to the wire, like reprimanded children, to wait their turn. There is a feeder full of nijer seed, but the goldfinch hasn’t found that yet. I hope he will, and that he will bring his friends along for the joy of a goldfinch is something to lift a heart every single time. I make a note to clean the feeders for the diseases old wet seed can develop is fatal to our garden birds.
Gulls wheel over the sea-loch in the fine smoky rain, calling to each other, talking of fish and tides, freedom and flight. Although I don’t speak ‘gull’ my imagination can tell me anything I want it too, and it is here, in my imagination that most adventures are born. I can make an adventure of any situation and I always could. There are some grounded folk who believe that what you can explain is the real truth, but I disagree with them, although I don’t refute their knowledge of the facts, but, more, find it limiting. Einstein believed that the imagination is of more value than the proven fact and if he believed that, with all his scientific brilliance, then so can I, little old me, small but dangerous, living my ordinary days out on the island.
I take my time to light the woodburner, watching the flames catch the spindly kindling. I blow the dust off the mantel and the dresser, watch the motes catch and reflect a flash of light from the fabulous and subtle Christmas lights I decided not to lock away for the mice to chew. I have no idea what time it is and I don’t want to know. My stomach will tell me when lunch is required, or if I need more water to drink. We all need more water to drink and most of us ignore that sound piece of advice, choosing coffee and tea instead whilst our poor minds and bodies quietly and politely dehydrate. I consider the small list of tasks I must complete this day and my eyes lift to a card I received from a friend. Believe in Magic, it reads, and I place it in full view, in between Sisi the colourful beaded giraffe from Africa and the drip bucket for the leaking ceiling. Another card-to-keep, from my sister, placed beside the other reads thus:- ‘Don’t you hear it? she asked and I shook my head, no, and then suddenly she started to dance and suddenly there was music everywhere and it went on for a very long time.’
I consider whether or not to make a seafood risotto or some soup, or neither. This is how a day without deadlines can be with choices to do or to do not, a day to dance or to read or to sit and watch the birds, to count the raindrops, to hear the gulls talk, to open my heart and my mind and to absorb it all, this life, this earth, and to be oh so very very thankful that I am here, that I am me, that I can be whoever I want to be. I have known deadlines and tension, pain and sadness, sickness and death. This is what a life is all about. Nobody has an easy one.
There is magic in ordinary days and in ordinary things, if we choose to seek it out.