And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. Roald Dahl
I do believe in magic. Not the hocus-pocus kind, and certainly not the “black arts“, supernatural type. Although I did have exposure to some slight of hand earlier this fall, which did result in real magic.
My oldest grandson, who marches to the beat of his own drummer, and I spent hours setting up, practicing and performing some magic tricks. They were the “Now you see the coin, now you don’t” variety. He was focused. He got the patter down; he was adept at mastering the physical elements of the tricks. He even had the flourish at the end that is the mark of all good magicians. (You can click here to watch him make a toothpick disappear and reappear.)
As I made videos of him performing, I could see his shy smile spreading as he became proficient. I have seen that expression many times before as a school teacher. It signifies a child gaining self-confidence through mastery. That’s magic.
I believe magic comes in many forms. Sometimes it falls into our laps, an unintended consequence of our actions, serendipity. When I first began blogging I wrote an article about a run I did on a local rail trail on a frigid day. It was an out-and-back affair, meaning I retraced my steps as I returned.
On my way out, I saw nothing special; on the way back, I noticed sunlight sparkling off of a Christmas ornament someone had hung on a trail-side tree. Then I noticed another one. And another. I had missed a dozen Christmas ornaments scattered along the path at irregular intervals. My pace picked up, my mood improved, I was excited to find the next little jewel as I ran. That was magic.
The shooting star I saw in the early morning Colorado predawn darkness from my son’s deck in Steamboat Springs was magic; double rainbows are, too. The purple light visible as you watch snow sift through evergreen trees at dusk is magic, and so is the apricot sky during sunset over the ocean.
Sometimes, though, magic does not come into our lives spontaneously. Sometimes we must go searching for magic. That’s what I was doing yesterday when I set out to run on the bike path behind my house.
I always get a little restless during the taper period before a long race. Resting is not my strong suit. Yesterday was the Friday before my Sunday marathon and relaxation was prescribed, but I needed some magic. “Running a slow two miles on the gravel path would not hurt,” I reasoned. I planned to take my phone with me and try to capture something special, which would ensure a snail’s pace. I even brought my geriatric dog Benji on my quest for magic.
Now, for those of you who don’t know, I live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I recently researched the typical date of the first local frost. It’s October 11. My source also stated that Lancaster County would “almost certainly” experience frost before October 25, but today is October 27, and we have not had one yet. No temperatures are in the five-day forecast that would bring frost to our area, so the brilliant fall colors are still elusive.
Instead, my marigolds and roses still bloom. A little bit of summer when it’s almost November is magic, and I hadn’t even left my backyard.
When I got to the meadow where the bike path is, no one was around, so I let Benji off his leash. I felt like ambling, rather than running, so I strolled, in order to better stalk magic.
I found a big green leaf that had fallen on the path from a pawpaw tree (my hand is in the picture for size comparison). I love pawpaws because of their intrinsic beauty and because they remind me of my mom. In May, Mom’s birthday month, they are strung with garlands of beautiful purple flowers emitting a strong, sweet odor. Purple was Mom’s favorite color.
There was a blown milkweed pod ready to scatter its silk-topped seeds. All it required was the slightest puff of wind. The field surrounding the path is cropped short now, but a month ago, it was thigh-high in milkweeds. I could smell them at night through my screened windows as they released their sweet scent, and hundreds of butterflies danced among the flowers during the day. This particular plant, close to the stream, where the mowers don’t go, survived to release its seeds for next year’s crop.
I saw a fern sprouting from a felled willow trunk. Amazingly, even though this willow tree has been horizontal rather than vertical for years, it still sends out some shoots and green leaves each spring. It recalls to me just how precious life is, and how vigorously we cling to it. The fern, however, reminded me of the way of the world, new life from old, beauty rising, magic.
Here is the thing about magic – sometimes it comes to you, unbidden, and sometimes you have to hunt it down. Sometimes magic appears in our lives out of the blue, though we have done nothing to merit it, and sometimes we must go searching. In either case, our hearts must be open to magic in order for it to come into our lives. We must be willing to receive it. We must always put ourselves in a position to experience magic. It is there. Are you?
Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another. – John 1:16
I am linking up with Clean Eats Fast Feets for her Week in Review, Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging and Dream Team, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, blovedboston for Weekending, Patty, Erika and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Char at Trekking Thru, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Meghan Weyerbacher for Tea and Word, Shelbee on the Edge for Spread the Kindness, Mary Geisen Tell His Story, Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for Coaches’ Corner, Nicole and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday, Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies for her link up, Amelia Gilliand for Words That Inspire, Sharing a Journey for Wellness Wednesday, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Reflections From Me for A Blogging Good Time, Random-osity for Little Things Thursdays, It’s a Small Town Life for Thankful Thursday, Crystal Storms for Heart Encouragement, Be Thee Inspired for her link up, and Purposeful Faith for RaRa link up.