The perfect everyday life

It starts with a cup of coffee. No fancy coffee maker. Just a kettle and a jar of instant coffee. Because it’s not just a cup of coffee.

Some stretches while the water boils. The hiss that the kettle makes is background music. Because they are not just stretches.

Sitting alone in my armchair looking out the window at the trees whose leaves gently shuffle – there isn’t much of a breeze but enough. Just enough to cool the hot cheeks of the children screaming instructions to each other as they play outside, absorbed in the power plays that adults usually don’t see. I sit alone. Not lonely.

He’s coming home today. His dirty shoes will be kicked off outside the door, like discarded candy wrappers, socks unmatching. Dishes will pile up in the sink, wet clothes on the floor. Bleary-eyed hug, eyes which light up when telling a funny story that I can’t quite catch because he mumbles. Do all teenagers mumble? But he is almost a man. A sense of sadness – a dark patch on his soul – finds a mirrored sadness in me. Sadness is not always a bad thing.

Niggling worries at the back of my mind. Work that needs to be done. Ideas that need to be captured on paper. A life that needs to be made the most of. Why wake up every morning otherwise? But the soul needs rest after trauma. And perhaps making the most of life can involve rest too.

Where is the imperfection in a life that is lived everyday like this? A cup of coffee that signals being alive to face another day…stretches that feel like dancing as the body wakes up to the music of the kettle, the privilege of solitude in a safe home as the world unfolds around me, someone to love and share shards of light and swatches of darkness with, the joy of choosing – shall I work or shall I rest today.

What is perfection but the realization that this is as good as it gets.

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