I waken early. The air is still, save for the faint rustle of breeze in the big maple outside the east window.

I lie on my back, giving myself a Reiki treatment. I’ve a pain in my abdomen, slight nausea. Slowly, the heat begins to flow under my hands, so faint that at first I think I may be imagining it, then spreading through my skin, muscles, bones, organs–warmer and warmer, now hot. If I saw my body from above, would my abdomen glow like hot coals?

The pain subsides, my muscles ease, and soon I am smiling a Buddha half smile. Calm. At peace.

, long and slow

Out, slow and long

The pain in my stomach is gone. I take a deep, cleansing breath, move my hands to my eyes, which ache these days.

Too much sun perhaps, too much reading. A vision comes, of walking in the hills with no purpose but to enjoy the day, watch the sun rise, take in the Fall colors and textures, scan the long, wide vistas, lie back against the earth, eyes closed, and let the sun’s warmth penetrate.

My palms begin to sweat, signalling time to move on. The ache in my eyes is gone. The first thing I see when I open them is a bright kaleidoscope of stars through the skylight above our bed. I smile and stretch–long, long, longer.

Murgatroid The Cat stirs, stretches across my feet, then pads gently up my torso and settles on my chest, her face nearly in mine. She purrs so loudly Cheyenne stirs, reaches a hand to my thigh. Her hand is cool from resting outside the covers, counterpoint to my hot hands and Murg’s warmth.

Murgatroid’s heat penetrates my chest, suffuses my heart and lungs, and I breathe more deeply.

Cheyenne turns over, facing me, opens one eye. “Hi Murg,” she says, reaching to pet the cat.

“What shall we do today,” Cheyenne asks.

Today is Sunday. Neither of us has village chores. Last night, we agreed to enjoy a totally spontaneous day.

“I was thinking of taking a long walk across the hills, lie in the grass, stare at the clouds. I would love to see the sun rise from the top of the butte.”

“Good idea!” Cheyenne is out of bed and in the shower in a trice.

“Well, Murg, guess we should move too.”

Murgatroid looks me in the eye, settles her body deeper onto mine.

“Okay, a little more Reiki.”

I place my hands on either side of her body. She purrs louder. My hands tingle, and I wonder if their heat flows through her body the way her heat is flowing through mine, slow as pahoehoe.

Murg closes her eyes, smiles, then leaps away as quickly as Cheyenne moments ago.

I stretch again, give thanks for this moment, this cat, this healing, this day, throw back the covers and set my feet on the cool slate floor.

Suddenly I feel the presence of my grandmother–her voice, her sweet lilac scent, her favorite rise-and-shine mantra:

This is the day the lord hath made
I will rejoice and be glad in it


  1. graceonline · · Reply

    To my faithful readers, I apologize for the long delay. Life has been too full of late for the creative moments I crave.I changed the name of this posting and a word or two. Otherwise it is the same.I also added a new posting, “Solace” and dated it August 19, because the events occur the day after Bonnie dies.Bonnie wasn’t ready to let us go and persistently nudged Rose to tell more of her story before we could go on.


  2. Wanda Tucker · · Reply

    The lava picture is so amazing! Thanks for answering my question. Wanda


  3. graceonline · · Reply

    Pahoehoe is slow-moving, sticky lava, sometimes likened to cake batter.The US Geological Survey has lots of fascinating photographs of pahoehoe like this one.Thanks for asking, Wanda, and thank you for your continued interest in Ordinary.


  4. Wanda Tucker · · Reply

    What’s a pahoehoe? I love your story. I can’t wait for the next chapter.


  5. Anonymous · · Reply

    No matter what you write, or how long or short, I truly enjoy reading your writing! Please keep it up!


  6. I want to go back to bed so I can wake up like this, every morning. Why don’t I give myself this kind of wake up time? Perhaps my entire day would be more peaceful. Thank you for this.


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