Beauty in the Ordinary

The light was just going over the mountains and shades of purple, blue, rose, and orange all melded together into an ordinary sunset. Miraculously ordinary.

I wanted to capture it, even though I know that there will be another one tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after. Beautiful sunsets are a part of ordinary life here in Rania.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the ordinary things of life. The cooking, cleaning, working, eating, sleeping things that make up the majority of our days wherever we live in the world.

My life in Cambridge was radically different than my life here in many ways. In other ways, it is strikingly similar. Both places were made up of a good amount of ordinary. The ordinary sleeping, waking, cooking, cleaning, praying, writing moments.

To be sure, the tools that make up these moments have changed. A mosque next door is our alarm clock, an oven that is difficult to light is one of the ways I cook, a sun-filled sky in Kurdistan greets me in the morning quiet, and my view is of stark mountains instead of my Cambridge neighbors. Yet still, those ordinary moments are related, because I’m the one within them and because life is made of ordinary moments.

And the question is the same – how do I live well in the miraculous ordinary?

I honor it.

I take those moments and recognize them as miraculous.

I write about them.

Baking bread, whether it be at 5 Newton Street or in my small apartment at the university.

Drinking tea while curled up reading a book in Rockport, or in the busy cha-khana at Rania bazaar.

Watching the sun set, whether it be over the Charles River in Cambridge, looking toward Boston and Watertown, over the mountains in Rania, or over the Atlantic Ocean by Andrew’s Point in Rockport.

There is so much beauty in the ordinary of life.

Where do you find beauty in your ordinary, everyday world?

6 thoughts on “Beauty in the Ordinary

  1. It took me almost 3 weeks after returning from our long, relaxing trip to feel like I was back in my ‘real world.’ Certainly it has taken you awhile to adjust to your new situation. Thank God that both you and I know what it means to be ‘flexible’ and ‘adaptable’ and can even find that an adventure.

    Thank you for the reminder to be thankful for each opportunity God gives us whether one that seems ordinary or altogether ‘new’.


  2. I live on the Pacific Coast, which feels extraordinary, even in the ordinary. I love the scrubby pine trees along the shore, the Coastal Rain Forest with its mossy oaks and pines, the ceaseless roar of the ocean a block away, the way the light is never the same any two days as it dances over the mountains a mile from my house. I love the hummingbirds that come to visit the feeder outside the window where I write, the wind, the rain and even the fog, which is ghostly and stark. Today we are enjoying one of the last truly beautiful days of the Fall, before the storms come in. It is 9 AM and feels about two hours earlier. I can tell by the slant of the sun where we are in the year. Each ordinary day folds into the next one and they make an extraordinary whole. I am blessed to live here.


  3. Today it was in the opportunity as I was stopped waiting to turn onto the freeway and being able to snap a photo of the beautiful sunrise, a glimpse of God’s grace this morning and an opportunity to praise Him.

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