“Normal Mode Activated”

A few days ago I promised myself  I would write about this message, one I see nearly every day. The particular setting for this inspiration was the back of a local coffee brewery near one of the train stations I often board. This time, daughter and I were grabbing breakfast in a string of days that didn’t feel particularly normal. So when my phone dictated that ‘normal mode’ was activated, I had to pause, and wonder: is that ever true?

I think the answer is yes. There are comfortable days (usually warm ones) in which we go about our responsibilities with logic, reason, and usually time along the way to give ourselves a moment or two to notice our surroundings. Routines normalize us. Certainly many, many people unfortunately do not know what a normal day might be like, and this is troubling and worrisome. I wish they were able to walk a different, more peaceful path. Some, I bet, are working towards this in remote corners of the world.

But for the rest of us, people working at home or away from home, we need our normal mode activated. It can be hard to find balance, and enough time to satisfy what seems like either a barrage of demands from all corners, or those little nibbling little tasks that wait to steal our joy. These latter tasks love to back me into a corner, where they play their trump card: “We are the things you left UNDONE!” and in this moment, the little heap of what I did accomplish is smashed and reduced to rubble. It’s not fair to let the undone rule. We must strike back.

But I digress on this yet again cloudy, damp day. I’m thankful for a few of the snapshots I’ve seen even this morning: a man striding quickly and wearing a big grin under a Red Sox cap; a young girl in a yellow sweater and skirt set slowly making her way to her next destination; a green leaf I saw on my own platform bench which had globules of water sitting on it. This reminded me of the vast spectrum of life. How, you ask?  A bug may come to that leaf and find a drink, but also the wettability of the leaf, and the backs of Namib beetles, help us understand how to harvest water.

Welcome, Monday morning, random thoughts, and a full train to normal.


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