October 5, 2016

I remember my tenth birthday quite well.  My baby brother was just one month old and my parents had decided to build a new bedroom above the garage to help expand the living space of our small home.  Up until then my two little sisters and I had all shared a very small bedroom at the back of the house, but when plans were announced for the addition my birthday gift was a set of bunk beds so that we could move into our parents' larger bedroom and have more space.  I was so excited to receive those beds and happily slept on the top bunk until I left for college.  I also received a charming little wind-up alarm clock, and from my Aunt Hallie, a book by Paul Gallico titled The Man Who Was Magic.  

As I sat in the small theater in Galena, watching a truly gifted entertainer work his own special "magic", I started thinking about the book I had loved as a young girl.  Sub-titled A Fable of Innocence, it tells the story of a true magician, Adam and his dog Mopsy, who arrive at Mageia, the hidden city of the master magicians of the world.  There the entertainers can safely practice their sleights of hand and even the young children have access to the secret books of tricks.  Everyone in Mageia knows there is no such thing as real magic.  Except, of course, Adam, who has come to learn from the best magicians in the world, only to discover that his gift of true magic is in a league of its own.  

Sometimes it feels like the world is a little too heavy - filled with pain, and suffering, and hatred for our fellow partners on this short but magical journey of life.  When I feel low, maybe I need to remember there is a world of real, and healing, magic right outside my own doorstep.  Yes, it's fun to attend a show and be mystified and delighted by a magician's tricks, but it is also wonderful to open my front door, step outside and be caught up in the mystery and magic of my own daily life.  Poet Mary Oliver poses the question "tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?",  and I answer back that I will seek to find the mystery in the mundane, and the magic in unexpected moments of joy. 

Emily Dickinson must have pondered the same question when she penned the following poem.  I hope you enjoy it, and I also hope that today a little bit of magic finds it way to your soul.

I think I was enchanted
When first a sombre Girl --
I read that Foreign Lady --
The Dark -- felt beautiful --

And whether it was noon at night --
Or only Heaven -- at Noon --
For very Lunacy of Light
I had not power to tell --

The Bees -- became as Butterflies --
The Butterflies -- as Swans --
Approached -- and spurned the narrow Grass --
And just the meanest Tunes

That Nature murmured to herself
To keep herself in Cheer --
I took for Giants -- practising
Titanic Opera --

The Days -- to Mighty Metres stept --
The Homeliest -- adorned
As if unto a Jubilee
'Twere suddenly confirmed --

I could not have defined the change --
Conversion of the Mind
Like Sanctifying in the Soul --
Is witnessed -- not explained --

'Twas a Divine Insanity --
The Danger to be Sane
Should I again experience --
'Tis Antidote to turn --

To Tomes of solid Witchcraft --
Magicians be asleep --
But Magic -- hath an Element
Like Deity -- to keep --
Today is a good day for a good day! 

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