Ordinary Miracles

We didn’t buy gifts this year. It was a notable departure from the kind of excess that has made me uncomfortable in these advancing years. We gave a big check to the local food bank instead. 

There will be no visit with Dorothy. We won’t hit the drive-thru at Starbucks for pre-breakfast indulgence for the group. We won’t unwrap bags full of gifts that we’ll likely never use. 

There will be no breakfast casseroles. No Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. No Mom’s cookies. I won’t hear the jangle of Mom wearing HER Mom’s bangle charm bracelet.

There will be no games of pool downstairs. No classic photos of grown-ass adults in jammies. The fruit soup will go unmade.

There will be no community puzzles. No Bananagrams. No football pools. We won’t watch our, now adult, niece and nephew open gifts. We won’t marvel at Christmas decorations and we won’t raise a toast, skål, to another great day of family tradition. 

There will be no hugs.  

We’ll do a Zoom meeting in the afternoon. Half of our family will still be getting together. Covid has drawn lines between us. Some of us refusing to gather, the others refusing to stay apart. 

My walk this morning was illuminating. In just two snaps it all became clear to me. 

As the two resident bald eagles sent out their piercing call into the cold thin air, the sun pushed it’s opinion on the day. The fog was dense, but beginning to lift. It was a bit like those fancy blinds that roll up or down. The fog was rolling down. Briefly clearing sky, a peek through the trees …

Two snaps. Two different filters. 

Sunlight through the fog
Same sun, same location, different filter

That’s when it became clear. We are living in the exact same moment. All of us. What’s different is the filter. Day to some, night to others. Soft orange light, or a cool blue glow. 

The technology of our emotional center has failed us. And so I know what I wish for this Christmas: Give me a deep sleep and polaroid dreams. Give my life back to me in black and white. No filter needed. 

Let the color drain from how we see. 

Bring back the colorless world of grayscale, where we all see the same thing. At the same time. 

An ordinary miracle. Without spin. 

May the coming year help us to see better. To see one another again. See what matters and what must fall away. We have home and we have each other and we have a means of connecting, so all is not lost. 

But I never want to have another Christmas like this one. 

Here were my ordinary miracles of the day. 

Golden-crowned kinglet. A small miracle.
Great Horned Owl who gave me a wink and a nod today
Ice and Awe
Road to the boardwalk
The frozen wee hours

9 Comments on “Ordinary Miracles

  1. Thank you, again, for photographs that say so much more about us than they first reveal. You truly have a gifted eye, a gifted hand, and a heart gifted with truth, compassion, empathy, love, and wisdom.

    My family is also divided which means I will not be partaking in the Christmas dinner feast at my dad’s house but I will feast instead on the small miracles of light on the faithful river coursing by, darling diving duck butts, morning frost on the bright red wild rosehips, and my kitty in my lap as I read.

    Blessings of abundant joy and deep health to you and yours, Bonnie.

    • Jennie, your comment is a beautiful post just on its own ! Thank you for the kind words. It’s such a surreal day and an extraordinary time to be alive. Thank you so much for writing. Merry Christmas !

    • Should I be looking for the blog this year ? You write so beautifully and I’m looking forward to you jumping in ! Happy (almost) 2021 !

  2. Beautiful Bonnie. Am with you and yours this rainy Christmas Day far across the country. Hearts know no distance .

    • Michelle, thank you so much for writing. You are so right that hearts know no distance. We are all together in spirit ♡

  3. When you experience a cessation of ‘life as you know it’ thru the lens of someone who feels the days and years slipping by too fast, either due to ill health or advancing age or both, the phrase ‘next year’ can feel cold and hollow. Especially when we havent yet shed the cause of our current jeopardy. Time doesnt wait. Middle agers have lots of time, but infants become toddlers in a year, elders slip farther away. It can be heartbreaking and soul crushing when you lose someone while waiting for things to improve, the yoke to lift. Hurry New Year… *

    • This is beautiful, Mare. I am with you in spirit as you celebrate with family this Christmas. It has felt like a long season of loss and we really can’t create a measure for the weight of it in our hearts. I hope you find joy today. Love you ❤

  4. Every word just hit my heart spot on. We didn’t gather. We didn’t spend money – Laurie gave away free toys tonight. It’s a darn hard year! Hugs Bonnie, keep writing. ♥️

    • It has been one for the books, to be sure. Thank you so much for sharing this space with me. Some of the changes this year will take root and I love that part. May we buy less and give more. Merry Christmas to you and Laurie ❤

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