I have a friend who is going through sad days, maybe the saddest of her life. Someone she loves is very ill. But as she has done every morning for years, she goes to a nature preserve that is near her home, or she will just go out into her garden, and take photographs. But they are not just any photographs. They are pictures of magical moments when nature’s creatures stand still for her – owls, praying mantises, baby foxes, dancing birds. They pose for her, perform for her. I think it’s because they know she’s magical. She has published books of photographs taken in Valley Forge National Park and in Tanzania. She has photographed brown bears in Alaska. Years ago, I climbed the Great Wall of China with her, and saw it through her eyes. She is fearless in a way that magical people are: they see the wonders of the world, and they say yes to them – yes, yes, yes, they say, I see you. I know she is going to be all right.
And this week, I sat with a friend who is dying of cancer. He told me a story of how, one wintry night, at a turning point in his life, he laid down on the ground, looked up at the starry sky, and became right-sized in the world. He cried when he talked about leaving the ones he loved, his wife, his daughter, and his grandchildren, and we who had come to visit with him cried too. But it was the magical story of the stars, and the look in his eyes when he spoke of it, that stayed with me. He is going to be all right, too. He told us so.
If I believe in magic, if I see the Universe as something miraculous and benevolent, it is because people like these have graced my life – ordinary, mortal, magical people. They are not magical because they believe in a Universe that is manifested in the indescribable beauty of the stars, the earth, and the creatures upon it. They are magical because they see it.
Read about other magical people in my book, The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide, by Helen Delaney. Available on http://www.Amazon.com.