Surprised by Ordinary Contentment

Sometimes contentment looks less like a mountaineer’s milestone,

Or an earmarked achievement dressed up in your best new clothes,

The end result of all the things you thought you ever wanted….

And more like a secondhand curbside-found round table

And a last-minute late lunch on a cloudy Sydney wintry afternoon

And sometimes a couple of neighbours  you didn’t even know existed six months ago,

Can become the threads you didn’t know you needed for a season of unravelling,

Of finding and rebinding.

And almost anytime,  two half-full fridges are better together than one complete one,

Because in the halving the doubling begins

Unlocking the amateur’s magic of multiplication.

And sometimes an outdoor wood fire in inner-city suburbia could be a million miles away

When the smell of woodsmoke transports you nearly twenty years back to the safest spot you ever knew

So you stand once more with your adult back to it,

Pretending to shelter your children,

But in truth wanting to stay just long enough to let it warm you through

And loosen up some of the bits inside of you that need unbinding.

And once seated at the table, the eating and the speaking, these simple daily acts, become communing,

Because isn’t it truth when you share a table together , offering around the bread and the butter,  you offer also a bit of yourself to your neighbour,

Who in turn offers themselves back,

Until you’ve made a whole new thing altogether.


And isn’t it fact that the ordinary instance is often the portal for the extraordinary imprint.

And then,  just when you least expect it, you see it coming,

Or you don’t.

Either way it still arrives,

Climbing in the smoke, cutting through the chill

Not yet clear but close

The gift of the unbidden unexpected.

Joy arrives surely burning in the embers,

Hope rising soft from the fragments.

And you hold out your hands and try not to hurry it away,

Before you take the time to breathe it in and bid it momentary welcome.


Impacted by these words in some way? I’d love to hear you’re thoughts.