My brothers and I are helping Mom transition into the next phase of her life.
In doing so, I’ve touched many things from my childhood, including her jewelry box.
It is a beautiful wooden box, the inside lined with red felt and adorned with a dainty mirror.
She has had her jewelry box for as long as I can remember. Many moons ago, she transcribed a quote on the top, and that is what truly makes it special; in her handwriting, a favorite quote.
(Hmmmm … ironically, the handwriting on her jewelry box looks exactly like Santa’s handwriting… :o)
As a kid, I dusted the dresser where the jewelry box was housed, and in doing so, moved the box on and off the dresser more times than I care to count. While I am sure I read the poem once or twice as a child, I was more concerned with getting my chores done so I could move onto something more important!
Fast-forward 40 years later and here I am again, with the jewelry box in hand.
This time around, and from an adult perspective, I took the time to read the poem:
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky, and want more than all the world, your return.
Reading the poem left me wanting to learn more. Google wasn’t a thing when I was a kid (yep, dating myself :o) but fortunately today, we can copy any verbiage into a browser to learn more!
The snippet above was written by Mary Jean Irion, and it is an excerpt from her 1970 book, Yes, World, a Mosaic of Mediation.
Mary Jean passed away October 16, 2019, at the age of 96. According to her obituary, Mary Jean was:
an accomplished and passionate poet, essayist, and teacher, her prose work includes three published books: “From the Ashes of Christianity” (1968), “Yes, World, A Mosaic of Mediation” (1970), both concerning the post-Christian era, and “She-Fire: A Safari Into the Human Spirit” (2012), a poetic armchair travel narrative, inspired by her travel to Kenya.
While it took me 40 years to absorb the poem, better late than never.
Thank you Mom, and Mary Jean, for reminding me to embrace my normal days!