I was sitting on my deck this morning, just before dawn. My first cup of coffee was sending tendrils of steam into the waning dark. Overhead, a crescent moon hung beside the morning star. As the sun peeked over the mountain, a soft breeze brought the intoxicating scent of tea olive flowers across my nose. Then, a wren landed on the deck rail, staying there to greet the morning with me. When the sun crested the hill, the wren sang out its ‘tea kettle’ song and flew off to start the day. This was a magical moment.
There is a lot going on in this world to create the opposite of magic. We are experiencing fear, frustration, grief, uncertainty and exhaustion. If we are not careful, we can get swept away by it all and lose our connection to the joys of life. When we lose our joy we lose our hope. But life is still full of magical moments if we will just pay attention.
I have seen so many articles about keeping a gratitude journal, and I believe in the power of gratitude. It’s important for us to recognize that no matter what is happening, we still have much to be grateful for. But it feels like a gratitude journal doesn’t go far enough. It’s easy to get into a rut with our gratitude and list the same things over and over. What we really need is to pay attention to the magical moments that are happening all around us.
Magical moments are those gossamer, ephemeral interludes that appear throughout our days waiting for us to notice them. But we keep our heads down, like a dog digging a hole, and we miss the butterfly that is sitting on our tail. Magic doesn’t hang around waiting for us to look up. If we don’t keep an eye out for it, it will disappear like a vapor and we won’t even know we missed it.
If I had been sitting on the deck this morning with my phone in my hand, scrolling through the news or social media, I would have missed the magical moment that was created when the elements of nature came together to perform magic for me.
By setting an intention to gather magical moments like I would gather treasures into a special box, I am missing less of them. By keeping a ‘Magical Moments’ journal, I will have them to look back on when I begin to see life as bleak and my inner cynic starts its pity party with ‘Why bother?’. I will have proof that life is filled with magical moments, even when the world seems to be going off the rails.
Life is still full of magical moments, if we will just pay attention.
This past weekend, I was at a public garden where a musician was performing. I was strolling through the garden past him when he started strumming the opening notes of “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison. I immediately recognized it and stood still in front of him. When he started singing, I sang with him — every word. As I swayed to the music, closing my eyes and singing from my heart, something shifted within me. Like a puzzle piece clicking into place, I felt like I was right where I was supposed to be. It was a magical moment.
So many magical moments throughout the day are waiting for us to notice them, but we often fail to because many of our magical moments are seemingly our most ordinary moments. We don’t pay attention because we’ve done this before and they just seem routine. But they are so much more than that. They are what life is made up of.
Swimming at night under the stars — magical moment.
Watching the light in the late summer turn everything to gold — magical moment.
Rocking a baby to sleep and inhaling her sweet baby scent. Having her reach up and pat your face when you stop singing because she wants you to sing some more. These moments are for keeping in your magical moments journal.
Noticing the light across the floor and up the wall, lighting up our rooms in ways that are truly magical — these times are worth paying attention to.
Belly laughing with friends, the kind of laugh where you throw your head back and completely let go— magical moment.
The quiet of the evening when my husband and I are reading together in the living room and I look up and think how blessed I am — magical moment.
Fireflies lighting up the summer night — definitely magical.
These are little glimpses into heaven, reaching down into our souls with reassurance that we are where we are supposed to be. Missives from the gods. Sparkles of light in the darkest of nights. Fireflies of happiness. Patches of Godlight. If we aren’t careful we will miss them, and in so doing, miss the best moments of our lives.
If you need help seeing the magic in the ordinary events of your life, follow a child around for a day. They are experts at wonder and awe, which are important tools for recognizing the magic in our lives.
We must set an intention that we are going to pause throughout our day and notice the magic that is happening all around us. Then write those moments down. Just a line or two will capture the moment. When you need a reminder, it will be right there for you to see.
Right outside my study window is a pair of doves sunning themselves on the lawn. They are reaching a wing skyward as they lie there, letting the sun soak into each feather. Then they flip over and lift the other wing. This is what we must do. Let the magic of the day soak into our being. Then, when things feel hopeless, and we are despairing whether life will ever be normal again, we can pull out our journal of magical moments and remind ourselves that even in the worst of times, there are still reasons to smile.