At the end of this summer Sunday, I am writing at our small round kitchen table by the light of what remains of a day that held magic.
There were no rabbits or wands or alchemical bits of wonderment involved. I speak of the magic that is happenstance; the magic that is being present and catching a glimpse of the beauty within a moment, a homegrown onion, or the smiling eye of a friend. The magic that is both lifting words from the page by reading aloud and opening paths by laying down lines of them. The magic of realizing a thing for the first time and appreciating that the truth that is new to me has been true all along.
In some ways, I suppose this magic I am talking about is the grace that happens when we open wide our senses and let in the awe, the wonder, the curious, the creative, the beautiful, the simple…as well as the tragic, the devastating, the uncertain, unknown. When we agree to hold both the mess and the glory, both of which are readily present, each allows us to appreciate and bear the other with a strength and a passion grounded in the real and the true.
My day began at Saint Andrew’s United Church of Canada where I did the reading…Georgia representative and Civil Rights icon John Lewis and Wisdom featured in the reflection that included a question—if you could pray for two things before you die, what would those two things be? Interesting to consider. What came to me first was “Let me have loved well and let others be able to tell that this was my desire.”
My day ended in the Gardens reading The Making of Poetry by Adam Nicolson (a gorgeous landscape of paragraphs about the summer of 1797 and the meeting of Coleridge and Wordsworth) on a bench in front of what I have come to know as “crows’ tree.” They love this tree and its twisty branches. By choosing this bench as often as I do, I have come to learn that crows have inside and outside voices. When they are tucked up beneath the awning of leaves, the tree breathes with a muted soft-edged quew-quew-quew…of neighbourly banter. This gets dialed to a sharply gargled cah-caw when they shoot out from the greenery in a fit of avian agitation.
In between, I spent time with a friend dancing and singing in the car while driving out to the airport the long way and watching planes (we were surprised), then making our way to the waterfront and wandering around Alderney Landing, over in Dartmouth. The breeze was salty and cool; the sun was hot; the water was as a sequined cloth, catching light, throwing light, alive as it draped itself across contours unseen.
Now, I am in the kitchen with a quesadilla liberally dosed with homemade salsa…and a keyboard…and the setting sun.
The day might be over…the magic never is. Grace never is. God never is. And I have to say…that thrills me to no end.