A rainy Sunday afternoon called for a nap, so we lay down and read until our eyelids slowly closed, like a light bulb dimming gradually to dark. The gentle rain sang into our dreams for about an hour before our guilt over chores undone stirred us from our slumber.
The little, mundane tasks — quotidian work, they have been called — consumed the next two or three hours. We spent our time cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, straightening and putting away all that had piled up over the busy, stressful days of the past week. And then it was time to begin dinner, and when it was over we read a bit and talked to our son, who had called to check in on us. By the time the conversation was over, it was time to get ready for bed. I made coffee and set the timer, let the dog out, checked the locks, turned out the lights, wound the clock and found something to read then lay in bed and waited for sleep to take me away.
The heavy rain drops, wind and thunder awakened us, and I remembered that nearby counties had been under a thunderstorm watch earlier in the night. I waited and listened anxiously, fearing that the wind might topple the big oak whose roots must be soggy from all the rain or might snap the tall pines and send limbs crashing through our roof.
And then the dog decided he needed to go out, but he refused to go out in such a downpour, so my wife grabbed an umbrella and walked him out a few feet so he could relieve his bladder.
After all that, having been fully awakened, gone downstairs and up again, we floated at last into sleep until the alarm snapped me awake.
It had been a mundane day and a not unexceptional night. We've had so many like them that we won't register them in our uncertain vault of memories. But days like these are the ones that matter, the ones that make life good — not a highlight of our decades together, not a sad, grieving, painful or inspiring day, just a day like so many others that, strung together, make a life that is good and joyful and worthwhile. It was, to use that word again, quotidian, in the most positive sort of way for a word often used negatively.