Saturday, 22 March 2014

Make the Ordinary Come Alive

Make the Ordinary Come Alive
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

William Martin

I love this poem, because it is how I was raised. There was delight in textures and colors and noises and experiences. We made soup out of the crabapples and whirligigs and flower petals and water from the hose. We put too much bubble bath in the tub and turned on the jets until our faces were hidden by foam. We made smiling snacks out of apple slices with ruby skins, peanut butter holding marshmallow "teeth" in place. We played in the rain until our clothes clung wetly to our bodies. We erected a large wooden cross for a dead goldfish and mourned its untimely passing. There were storybooks read with expression, memorized, quoted.

The ordinary became alive.
And it became extraordinary. 

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