The title of this blog was suggested to me by my very best friend. She had no idea what I might write about, but she thought this title sounded like something that might inspire me. It did--and so does she.
My friend F and I met many years ago in college in upstate New York. She was my “suite” mate my freshman year, and she was just one year ahead of me. I was in awe of F: She had a pet white rat named Eugene, whom she was babysitting from the psych lab, she had beautiful black hair down to her waist, and a singing voice so deep and lustrous I couldn’t believe it. But most of all, of all her many attributes, was her sense of humor. F could make me laugh like no one else. She was and is the funniest friend I’ve ever had.
During the Covid-19 Pandemic, F and I have talked weekly on the phone, attended a weekly online chair yoga class together, and kept in touch with emails and text messages. We haven’t been able to meet in person, though, because of Covid worries and our concern for one another’s health and wellbeing. Nearly two hours apart, F has been in her “bubble” and I’ve been in mine, each of us burrowing into our own lives, but keeping our lines of communication open. A few times over the past few months F has mentioned to me that she’s getting worried about not getting out of the house enough. So, when I went on a trip upstate to check in on an elderly relative, I suggested that F and I meet in a parking lot just off the Thru-Way on my drive home. She agreed!
Last week, we stood six feet apart, no masks, outside, and basked in each other’s laughter. We shared funny stories, disappointments, problems, and triumphs. She showed me how long her now-gray hair has gotten—still thick and beautiful just as it was when she was nineteen years old. Our hearts were full of love as we stood under the sun on a breezy day, gratefully enjoying the real, live, vision of one another.
It was in those moments that F came up with the title of this blog: The Year the Ordinary Became Wonderful. In truth, there has never been an “ordinary” moment that I’ve ever spent with F (even grocery shopping with F is an adventure; after all, she taught me how to make onion and mayonnaise sandwiches when the fridge was empty in college and we had the munchies at 3 a.m.). Our moments—and if you have a best friend you know what I mean—are always special.
In the year 2020, however, nothing is taken for granted. Whether hugging our kids who live in distant cities, having tea with a neighbor, getting a haircut, or shopping in a store… we’ve all become aware of how unique, vital and blessed our no longer “ordinary moments” and human connections truly are. I look forward to the day when F and I can hug in person; in the meantime, I’ll treasure whatever wondrously "ordinary" gifts the Universe sends our way.