As this day unfolded, just a few hours into it, I realized how perfectly normal it was. I wanted to record it in its ordinary joys, these simple moments which make my life so full.
As it ended, it had become more significant, more notable. But in so many ways still so normal, and making me want to write up the normalcy even more:
so much pain, sorrow, joy, love, prayer, connection, is woven together in this life of ours.
7 am and I am out the door to the "living room" of Newberg. Grab a table in the back, wave hello to some regulars, I sip my coffee and push through to the end: 1,500 words, APA style, correctly cite all sources. I drive to campus, slip it in the prof's mailbox by 9:15, chat with the receptionist.
Back to Chapters and it is packed with full-on morning energy. I fold myself into a corner of the couch, session notes out, but first I see a family from church. This mom is hip, friendly, and can frequently be found homeschooling her three children at the coffee shop in the mornings. (Yes. This is everything I desire for my future.) I kneel down to say hello to her two-year-old, who primly turns and drops herself in my lap without a word, then reaches to play with my cell phone. I look at her mom. "I have a cold...". "Perfect. She does too." Wonderful, then we can snuggle with no harm done.
Before I start my homework, her 7-year-old brother shows off the new card game he just got. Highest numbers win, but you have to know your math facts to figure out which are highest. We play a hand. He beats me by a mile.
Two hours. Session notes mostly done. Book for dissertation ordered. A couple fun emails sent (sorry, session notes). Sipping my second mug.
My friend comes to meet me; we pray together every other week. She is in my cohort in the program but several years older than me, quiet, thoughtful, quick with encouragement, described by one professor as "a deep well". I of course adore her and wanted to make her be my friend. I asked her a few months ago if she would be my prayer partner and it's been deeper and more of an encouragement to my heart than I ever expected. We lay out our hearts. Hers is beautiful, and growing. I surprise myself by going into old familiar pains I don't want to still be dealing with. She hears them; and I know that it was good that I shared them with her. We pray. He hears us.
TA group meeting on campus. We snack as we discuss conceptualizing the relationship between client and therapist. We also plan the run we're signing up for as a group, in June: 6 miles, uphill. It's called "Hellacious". Wonderful. It will be bonding. We'll remind ourselves of that three miles in.
Long-distance phone conversation that's supposed to be on my dissertation, and turns into not only precious information and so much wisdom, but laughter, and the promise of a budding friendship that makes me feel so lucky.
A quick half-hour with another friend; I get to be the listener this time. I learn things I hadn't known. I am proud of her.
Back to the coffee shop, back to online; my sister calls as I am buying plane tickets. Purchase confirmed. I love my sister's voice so much.
I am packing up my stuff to walk down the street to church for the Maundy Thursday service; I get the text I knew was coming.
The day looks different now.
I take a deep breath, I text back. I make a phone call for her as requested. Pain and love are shared on that line, too.
Water is poured over my skin: "The love of Christ bless you, Emily." I sit with Heidi and we sing: "Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, and thorns compose so rich a crown?". I think about this coming weekend. Death. Darkness. Yes, in this world, yes. Such pain, someone I love is feeling now. Sunday is coming, He is risen indeed; what will that feel like for their family this week? Sunday is coming: hope. This world has pain, and we are called to be open to that; this world is not the end. "Such love and sorrow meet" feels so relevant right now.
"...Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."
I take Communion.
I know the people who hand it to me, and they know me. I had dinner at their house on Tuesday. We've prayed over each other's burdens and joys. I smile into their familiar eyes as I break off the bread, as I dip it.
"You may leave when you are ready, in worshipful silence."
Now I am in bed. Rain is hitting hard against the roof, the windows. I am praying.
My mattress just fell off my bedframe- this happens weekly or so- and my sweet roommate climbs out of her bed to help me lift it back up. We laugh as we struggle, and decide to call some cohort boys to come over and fix it for us tomorrow.