Day 29 of the Slice of Life Challenge
My book club met today. Sunday meetings are totally out of the ordinary. We generally meet one Friday afternoon a month and by we I mean everyone-but-me-because-I-can't-seem-to-make-it. I was invited to join this book club after getting the high school librarian job as the book club is mostly made up of high school teachers. I've read just about all the books even though I haven't been able to make the meetings, but I really loved this month's selection so I was overjoyed to be able to attend.
This month's book was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Harold is an ordinary man who has lived an ordinary life. He is newly retired and lives with his wife in the same house they've lived in for years and years. His wife Maureen is distant and angry. When Harold receives a letter from an old friend he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years he embarks on a quest almost without knowing it.
I enjoyed the book so much I'm now reading the companion novel, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy and honestly, I'm loving it so much more. Perhaps because I already know and love these characters. Perhaps because I love a story about the small moments that make up our lives.
I feel in some ways it is the bravest way to live your life---as one of the ordinary. Most of us long to be seen as extraordinary in some way or another as we grow up. When you ask kids what they would like to do when they grow up you'll get a lot of answers that show that most of us long for fame and fortune. (except my Olivia who answers that question with --I want to be me. That's all. Just me. And I say good on ya, baby to that answer. Oh, to have such wisdom.) And yet, that isn't in the cards for the bulk of us. We have to find the gumption and grit to get up each morning and do our best with no adoring crowds and often no atta-boys. When we learn that we are enough--just as we are--ordinary humans making ordinary mistakes in our ordinary lives it can actually become transcendent. It is through the mundane tasks of doing the dishes and walking the dogs that we can laugh and love and be. It is through the ordinary that most of us become extraordinary in our own lives.