The Quality of a Day

Is it possible that each of the days of the week has its own singular character, independent of our subjective experience of those days? I first noticed that Saturdays seemed to almost always have a consistent quality, something in the way the light falls, the way the air feels and smells, the appearance of the sky…

I first began to notice the phenomenon, if it is actually a phenomenon, I think because Saturdays are when I am most likely to have leisure time, and Saturday is when I am most likely to spend time out of doors. Since that first noticing, I have come to suspect that Thursdays and Fridays and Sundays also have personalities of their own. I might think that my experience of those days had simply developed a consistent pattern over the years except that memories of my childhood and youth are often triggered on those days, specific memories of events that most certainly happened on the same day of the week as the day on which the memory is triggered.

For instance, I remember flying a kite on a Saturday in March when I was ten or eleven; the light and the movement of clouds on sunny Saturdays often recall that moment, even in summer or winter. Or, I remember being almost knocked off my feet by the wind as I went out to get in the car when I was six on a blustery, overcast Sunday afternoon. The memory seems to always surface on a Sunday afternoon, whether the sun shines or not, whether or not the wind blows.

I have no intention or desire to make something more of this observation than is actually there. Still I wonder, and it’s the wondering that perhaps contains the most value. The fact that I am most likely to notice the quality of the day when I am not so busy and when I am outside is instructive. I need to be less busy, to maintain an attitude of noticing, of remembering, of wondering. I need contact with nature, to spend time playing outside with God.

I suspect that when God created the seven individual days, he planted in each of them a unique personality that reaches beyond the element of creation that is associated with that particular day. Or it may be that the thing created on a particular day infuses a related nature into the day itself. Perhaps Saturday is striking because it’s the original sabbath, God’s day to play, to rest, to be noticed, the day when God stumbles around in his sock-feet and gets popcorn in his beard (or something equally whimsical that isn’t so gender specific!)

I’m not certain in any even remotely scientific way of any of this, but I do wonder…and wonder draws me to God—every day.

2 thoughts on “The Quality of a Day

  1. AJ (Hoffman) Bell

    Mpnday through Friday were school days, walking from the dorms to the dining room and to classes. Saturdays were days to visit with friends, but Sundays were always special, white blouses, blue skirts, blue capes and chapel veils, but it was also quiet time. In later years how I would relish those quiet times and rmember them. I would make 3-4 retreats through a year, but never like the silent retreats we had at St. Mary’s. I can still hear the quiet and silence of those retreats.


  2. Memories are less day-of-the-week related for me. Some of them are more seasonal: in April (Upper Michigan style), when the snow is starting to melt, it is marble-playing season–and the start of track season (which still makes me tense and alert every spring, as if anticipating having to run another two mile race). Other memories are like deep habits that are always there somewhere in the background. Walking in a normally thick snow (my parents today said there are 8 inches on the ground in Houghton–a small amount there), I am reminded of how as a child I would walk a mile to school through the snow, and I would find myself imagining that the wind would pick me up and carry me all the way to Antarctica, providing me with Tombstone pizzas and peanut butter cups in the clouds along the way. What strikes me now about that memory is how the furthest reaches of my imagination still pictured something like the landscape I was plowing through right then and there . . .


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