The story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all. ~Frederick Buechner


Mornings are my least communally-minded time of day. I don’t like most people right then—and I definitely don’t like talking to them. I wake up, and my deepest wish is to be a cow lady in Wyoming, with only the cows to talk to.

It isn’t the people I live with, it’s me. I wake up and my social anxieties, which only the day before had been neatly tucked into pockets of my heart, have rolled right out again (perhaps this happens when I am horizontal?). In addition, my morning breath smells like dragon fire and my brain is frozen and cranky. In short, I’m not ready.

I’m not ready for all the complexities that constitute conversation with other tangly, heart-pocket-ridden, exquisite, and beautiful human beings. It’s like being presented with an advanced Sudoku puzzle—and I’m bad at math. I am sure all I can handle are the cows of Wyoming. And some oatmeal.

But one of the most beautiful things about community opens up to me right here: I am waking up to the same people and they are waking up to the same me. They want to hang out with me–again. Like children, we have found a strange joy in the repetitive mundanities. The strange, reluctant magic of eating the same things together and discovering new corners of each other happens at the beginning of every new day.

And with this revelation, deep within, inside my frozen-brained, dragon-breathed zombified self, I tear up a little.

Stasia Bird
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