In the first session of local writing workshop I’m teaching, I asked everyone to share their name and 3 details about their childhood bedroom.
Someone at the beginning prefaced her details by saying her room was just ordinary. But then we went around the circle and discovered nobody’s room was the same.
One person was afraid of a pattern in the wallpaper. Another grew up in a farmhouse that sometimes had snowdrifts in the hall. (Snowdrifts! In the hall!)
Everyone present had slept in a bedroom as a child. But not one person had an ordinary room. Even if the bunk beds or closet monsters sounded familiar, each person’s details came with singular stories that were uniquely theirs.
In the thick of routine, I easily mistake my day-to-day as humdrum, ordinary—the details around me turning to white noise. But after a peek into rooms that weren’t mine, I’ve been noticing my ordinary more carefully, which adds a dose of unordinary magic to every day.