Wikipedia defines Ordinary Time as “the part of the liturgical year in the liturgy of the Roman Rite, as revised in 1969, which falls outside the two great seasons of Christmastide and Eastertide, or their respective preparatory seasons of Advent or Lent.”
While clearly our current time is outside this Liturgical parameter, it does lead me to ponder. As a child, I was fascinated by the term in my missal. I loved the simplicity it conveyed. Ordinary time.
How intriguing! How basic and complex at the same time.
Thornton Wilder strove to capture the essence of ordinary time in his classic play “Our Town.” While exploring the daily life of his characters he uncovers deeper truths. When his Emily is given the opportunity to relive just one day of her life, she decides on her twelfth birthday. She chooses this day because it was before her marriage. Before she knew the joy of being a wife. And certainly before experiencing the full blown ecstatic state of becoming a mother. No – any of those subsequent days would be too full. Too rich to be considered simply “ordinary.” They were too ripe with fulfillment.
And so it is that halfway through her earthly visit, Emily breaks down. She is shocked by the beauty of it all. She sees her mother serving breakfast. She hears her father calling out for “his” birthday girl. She is transported back to her comfortable, pretty postcard town. The town that has no apparent threat of global conflict of war. She sees what her life as Emily Webb actually looked like. She crumbles as she realizes the sacred perfection of it all. Upon reflection, she is hit with the revelation that “saints and poets” may be among the few of us who recognize the enormity of everyday life. She sadly asks to be returned to her grave.
How do we guard against squandering our ordinary time?
We can start by enjoying each day as it comes.
Our town is in a sort of chrysalis phase right now. Let’s use it!
Masks are coming off and full smiles are once again in full view.
Plans are being made. Check out our events calendar here.
Have you checked out our wonderful River Club lately? Headliners such as Joshua Tree/U2 Tribute Band, Steve Sweeney AND Lenny Clarke, Billy Gilman, Jonathan Edwards and Jon Pousette-Dart, and Karla Bonoff are all on the docket. Check here for dates, tickets, and times.
And if you see him, say a big “hello” to manager Steve Chase for me. His talent and hard work have consistently brought quality acts to Scituate for many, many years now.
The River Club is a gem. While there, you may want to tour this unique venue with an eye to booking an event. Weddings and other private affairs can be accommodated. The building is really pretty, the gardens and surrounding area is pastoral and parking is plentiful. Great place to make a dream come true!
Golfers, heads up! Widow’s Walk has a rebuilt clubhouse. The popular Hibernian Tavern will be running the re-vamped food areas. Time to get those clubs out of storage! Our other two courses will soon be greeting your arrival!
Somehow, strolling through a nursery this time of year soothes me. I like the quiet; the flashy display of annuals is still in the future. But it is not too early to plan and to dream.
I’m not sure what they are looking for, but lately I have noticed clusters of birders excitedly pointing their cameras at the rocks off the shore of Minot. Very cool.
Spring lawn clean ups should begin in earnest soon. The rough winter winds have taken a toll on many yards. I am seeing branches being trimmed and hauled away.
People at restaurants definitely seem happier. Friendlier. The vibe has changed.
How extraordinary it is to be enjoying ordinary time here in Scituate.
Nothing ordinary about it.
Suzie Quealy Ward is a Scituate resident who writes a bimonthly column in celebration of the people places, and things that make Scituate special on behalf of the Scituate Visitors Center. You can contact her at email@example.com