Routine Days

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com user Kenny Moller

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My daughter Hadas came home from youth group on Shabbat with this anonymous essay called “Routine Days” in honor of the end of the holidays season and the return to routine…It moved me so deeply that I translated it. Enjoy!

It’s almost midnight. I am standing outside the door. The soft sounds of breathing rise up out of my children’s room and chase away the silence of the hallway. Elsewhere in the city, my nephews and nieces are also sound asleep. And my parents who called an hour ago to wish me “Good Night” are sleeping as well.

And standing here in the hallway, in the dim light, my feet are planted to the floor with no desire to move. All I want is to take pleasure in the serenity of that moment. To enjoy that feeling of peacefulness. The peacefulness that comes after a day that began with routine, and ended with routine. Wrapped up in the serenity of that moment, I feel the urge to say “Shehechiyanu,” the blessing with which we express to the Creator of the World gratitude for our lives, for the fact that we’ve made it this far.

Shehechiyanu is a blessing which is recited on holidays, and on other joyous occasions. And in my heart, this day was so special, so joyous, because it was so routine, so similar to other days.

Today, like always, my children woke up in the morning, left for school, and returned home again. And my parents too. Eema and Abba left home for work and errands and returned back home again. Today, essentially, all the people whose lives are so intertwined with my own, whose existence is interconnected so deeply with my own, all of them had a day like any other.

Today, thank God, I did not receive a panicked phone call. Sirens didn’t hysterically wail. A policeman with a grumpy face didn’t knock on my door. Today, there were no quaking steps taken through silent and sterile hallways. Today, thank God, there was no distressed tearing of clothing in acceptance of judgment.

For all of these things, I find myself whispering a heartfelt “Shehechiyanu,” expressing my honest gratitude to Hashem that He brought me to this special moment. To this precious, ordinary, event-less day.

I know that maybe somewhere along the path of life, days will arrive that will detonate the monotony of my life, the serenity of my being. Maybe days will arrive which are soaked in tears expressing a burden of illness, of distress, of troubles that will banish my serenity for weeks or years.

But now, at this moment, everything is so good. These event-less moments hold me in their embrace. These fractions of moments, in their monotony and silence, feel like a gift from God.

And if in the future there will be dark and troubled nights, at least I won’t feel regret. I won’t feel sadness because I didn’t take pleasure in what I had when I had it…

At those dark moments I will remember my whispered “Shehechiyanu” in the dim hallway, and that is what will bring comfort to my heart and calm to a suffering soul.
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3 comments

  1. How true! That is one to save! Just today, after hearing some tragic news, I went about all the mundane, ordinary, routine and often boring tasks of folding washing, cleaning, and cooking, thanking the Ribono Shel Olam that I was here to do them!

    May we all be blessed with good health to see many ordinary, routine days!

  2. would you please post a link to the Hebrew version? thanks

  3. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, it is nice to see it put into words so beautifully. I find myself thanking HAshem for being able to be the one here for my children through the ups and downs of each day.

    WOnderful…

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