Sometimes we find ourselves in moments that make us wonder if they are real. I’m not talking about the soul sucking horror of moments we wish weren’t happening. I’m talking about the magical ones, when the light beams across the background bathing everything in a gentle glow. Dust motes or snow or rain or leaves or the soft pink petals of cherry blossoms play in that glow, falling or dancing or twirling in the glory of it. We are barely aware of some vague soundtrack, maybe the wind or traffic or a saxophone player on the corner with his hat upside down beside him. At some point, for whatever reason, we shift from thinking about where we are headed or what we are doing, and we see the layers of it, however consciously or subconsciously, and we feel the wonder of it. A piece of us is fulfilled by this tiny bit of unexpected beauty.
For some these occasions happen only when something shakes them from their routine. It’s hard to miss the magic of the instant when the love of your life asks you to marry him (or her) or when a creature is born or an achievement is made. The trick is finding the magic in the every day. It’s there, though. I promise.
For instance, yesterday was a typical dreary, rainy, gray Tennessee winter day — except that it wasn’t. Sure, the clouds were socked in wet and heavy, but yesterday they failed to stretch from horizon to horizon. Yesterday they were the top of a foggy snow globe because instead of raining outright, most of the day a heavy mist obscured all but what was just around you. You might be able to see the barn but not the pasture, the red light but not the cars approaching the intersection. Like falling snow, but less substantial, less real somehow, the mist erased entire swathes of land and muted its usual sounds. It was soggy and muddy and made me want to snuggle up in the recliner with my favorite blanket and my dog, but I’m glad I had to get out in it because only then did I appreciate the full effect of its magic.
And what about Christmas trees? Have you ever thought about the transformation the twinkle of holiday lights creates in a room? Probably you have. The room is warmer, more welcoming. One might even say it is expectant, holding the promise of good moments in its newly decorated midst. Candles? If they didn’t provide a little magic, they wouldn’t be such a huge industry — and we wouldn’t use them to woo our loves.
Magic is found, and it is created in the every day, but we have to be open to it. We have to slow down, look up from our phones, and pay attention. The enchantment of the commonplace is only revealed when we shed our biases and approach life every single day with naive senses. At times, we might even have to create some magic of our own, but there is nothing wrong with that. I’ve already decided my Christmas tree will be redecorated to a Valentine’s Day tree so that I can keep the lights up a while longer. Hell, it might be a “holiday of the month tree” for a while. I don’t know.I believe variety can also be important, so it just might get packed up at some point, too. The point is when it no longer feels special, it will go, but then I will find or create something else that creates that warm glow for me.
Life is full of things that make it hard, but it is also full of things that make it beautiful and wondrous, and we can make it even more full of them. For me, one of the things 2018 is going to be about is magic — finding it, creating it, and spreading it. Maybe you should join me.
This story and all related material are the original works of Estora Adams. All rights reserved.