sounds of ordinary

by Kristen

I listen to the machine we’ve affectionately nicknamed Bessie hum in the warehouse running casters through durability tests. I fill a sticky note with reminders. I rewrite my workflow for the month on the white board.

I slip into the rhythm of a Tuesday.

The monotonous clank of a machine and the repetition of standard tasks soothes the restlessness inside me. The steady beat drums the not-quite-right feelings back into line. And my soul falls into step.

Muffled voices from the conference room rise behind me, then dissolve into laughter. The tension in my shoulders relaxes with their release.

It’s hard to pin the tail on the unease within me, and it takes the ordinary to rip off the blindfold and reveal the good in the regular.

In this month of clashing expectations and uncomfortable firsts, it’s easy for me to be sidetracked by irrelevancies. There’s too much to take in, too much to do, too much to grieve, too much to process. Overwhelmed by the excess, I find a haven in the constants: the sunrise, the daily commute, the first sip of coffee in a quiet office, the emails to be written, the meals to be eaten.

There—in the groove of the commonplace—is room to embrace the choice to love, to listen, to be present . . . no matter how hard and fast the moments press in.

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