Today started as a regular enough Saturday morning. I heard Aaron get up at 6 am, but I managed to stay in bed half-awake for an extra 45 minutes, listening for evidence he had not left the house. I could hear his iPad playing Pitbull very loudly in the kitchen.
I put on my robe, shuffled downstairs and started my coffee. I opened the door, happily noted it was not currently raining, and fetched the papers off the front porch. It smelled like Christmas outside, as it does every day of the year on the west coast.
“Why did you get up so early?” I asked Aaron. “Because I’m excited for Santa,” he replied. Of course. It is only six sleeps until the big man comes.
Slowing paging through the Globe and Mail, I came across the Globe Focus section. On the front page is a piece by Ian Brown called, “What we have to do is find the places of hope.” It is about Jean Vanier’s L’Arche communities. It would be silly of me to provide commentary about this exquisitely crafted writing that reflects so many things that I believe in, as the mother of a child with a disability and as a human being in this world. I would just end up quoting the whole thing. Just read it for yourself.
I tweeted out the link to the article, as I’m apt to do. I noted that Jane Philipott, Canada’s Federal Minister of Health had also tweeted out the piece, too. I tweeted that her tweet gave me so much hope (stay with me here; I know this is a lot of tweeting) and she retweeted my words and added this:
There is hope. I’ve been a huge fan of Jean Vanier since I read Larmes de Silence in ’79 French class.
Then she shared Jean Vanier’s words:
All this tweeting business happened a bit later while I was bumping around in a rented white pick up truck with my husband and son, to get firewood from a nursery in an obscure part of Vancouver, down by the Fraser River. We had a 9 am appointment to meet the firewood guy, and my husband was vibrating that we might be late.
What struck me on this ordinary Saturday morning that had suddenly become extraordinary was that we are all connected, all of us…from a mom in Vancouver to a journalist in Toronto to a physician & Health Minister in Ottawa. What connected us up was a handful of beautiful words. The Internet helps with this, of course. Twenty years ago, this whole transaction would have taken an number of weeks in the form of stamped and mailed letters. Today we are much zippier.
At the nursery, the firewood man noticed Aaron in the pick up. “Would you like a ride on the bobcat?” he asked. “SURE,” Aaron responded very enthusiastically. They zoomed around the grounds, and Aaron laughed and laughed. I was worried he’d fall right out, but he hung on tight and emerged grinning from his adventure. Later we went to a dairy to pick up local eggnog, and Aaron & I shared a glass while we watched Master Chef Junior on the couch. I was sandwiched between Aaron and Tommy the orange cat. Aaron made his own hotdog for lunch, filling the pot with water, dressing his hot dog bun with excessive ketchup and mustard (as he usually does). “VOILA!” he said when he was done. Then another Saturday morning was over.
But every morning is extraordinary, isn’t it, when you wake up alive and you feel loved. Not just the mornings when you read words in the newspaper that make you weep with their beauty, and then the Health Minister sends you a poem. On other days, the ones that seem mundane, the most important thing is to pay close attention, or you will miss the extraordinary. And I’ll quote Ian Brown’s article, but only this once: “In that setting, in that moment, the thought of waiting for the beauty of the world to come to me felt right.” I can promise you that the beauty is always there. Just wait and watch for it my friends.