This I Believe

Jani - Spanish Fork, Utah
Entered on June 26, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe in the miracle of the ordinary.

When I was a child, my mother told me that the ordinary moments are what life is made of. The big events come along only very occasionally. We live in each breath, and in every beat of our hearts. It is in these moments, the ordinary and the simple, that we can find our own personal joy.

This morning, as I left for work, I noticed that my day-lily was in bloom. As I drove to work, I noticed that the calves were playing in the field across from the freeway. And as I walked in to my office, I noticed that my co-worker had a new picture of his daughter on his wall. These things are small, indeed, but at the end of the day, they are the things that I will remember with pleasure.

The touch of my daughter’s hand. The taste of a fresh peach. These are not such small things after all. Years after my father’s death, it is the little things that I remember best: his laughter, his singing, his smile. These are each just a thin slice of time. No big events make the roster. But taken together, these small moments create the overall picture of who my father was, and what he was to me.

We achieve immortality through the everyday. My father left a rich legacy of small things. The world will not note his life through history books or legends. But the children my father taught will teach their children the stories he told. And even now, years after my father told them these stories on wintry days in an ordinary high school room, they remember hearing of the Donner Party, and how his voice sounded as he reached the climax of the tale. A simple thing, yes, but powerful.

Scientists tell us that even the largest of things are made up of the very small. That our bodies, these miraculous machines we live in, are made up of atoms, which are made up of even smaller things. And so it is with time itself. And life.

We face sorrow in this world. Some of us face deep and horrible suffering and pain that cripples us and takes away from the rest of our lives. But some of us learn to find peace in the song of a bird or the color of sunlight on snow even in the midst of horror. There are tales of the survivors of some of mankind’s darkest moments who not only lived through their experience, but thrived. These are the people who learned best that life is lived one moment at a time, and that nobody can take away from you the very wondrous miracles of the ordinary.