By Bruce Stambaugh
Do you believe in magic? I do, and I’m not channeling The Lovin’ Spoonful here either.
Whether we know it or not, we all have a little magic in our lives. It’s all around if we only take time and effort to notice.
I watched with joy and affection as the six-year-old tilted her head, gently flipped her long, blonde hair, batted her eyelashes, and put her index finger to her cheek contemplating her next move in dominoes. A mirror of her mother, I mentally catapulted back 35 years to when our daughter was the same age as Maren.
I knew my friend and his wife were passing through to visit. Just seeing him leaning into his camera on a tripod focusing on a flock of shorebirds on the beach gave me chills. The loving embraces of Bruce and Helen rekindled lifetime friendships.
I could hear the deep bass pulsate as the Swartzentruber Amish buggy approached from a quarter of a mile away. The dishes in our antique china closet rattled in harmony with the subwoofers syncopated vibrations as the buggy passed by the house.
Northern Gannets knifed into the ocean as a pod of dolphins played in the unusually calm Atlantic waters just off shore. These birds usually fished far from shore in churning waves, not placid shallows. We enjoyed the free show immensely.
I observed the unabashed curiosity of the middle grandchild as he approached the reenactment soldier to ask a question about the Civil War fort. With the answer in hand, we trekked off to view the remnants of the old kitchen.
The melodic reverberations from the church’s old pipe organ grabbed me more firmly than a human handshake. I marveled at the introspective results, peace, joy, purpose, and compassion.
Antsy man that I am, I have at last learned to wait in one spot for the birds to come to me. I am seldom disappointed.
After the first frost of the season, I waded into the rainbow of produce that littered the fertile field. The upbeat young farmer merely said a new season had begun.
In sadness, a friend told me that police arrested her young neighbor for writing threating notes to do public harm. The family can hardly afford to put food on the table let alone this. Her compassion moved me.
A small herd of deer leaped from the protection of the woods through my neighbor’s open field across a woven wire fence and into the next farm field. I watch with wonder their white tails bob in the dreary day until they bounded out of sight.
A friend sent me a note of appreciation. His expression of gratitude humbled me, drawing us closer than we were before.
The pleasing pastels of the wall hanging rested in my wife’s quilting frame. When completed, she gave the lovely piece to a friend who said the colors perfectly matched her décor. Karen’s smile was all the thanks Neva needed.
His family about to leave after their short visit, the oldest grandchild, 11 going on 21, climbed out of the back seat of the van. Evan gave Nana and Poppy another goodbye hug. We each teared up.
There might not seem anything magical about these everyday scenarios. But there was. The magic wasn’t pulled from a black hat or a shirtsleeve. Rather, life’s fleeting wonder is all around us all the time. It’s our duty to notice.
Real magic transcends illusionary tricks. It’s the ordinary moments in our lives that create extraordinary memories.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2016
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