Autumn always feels like a miracle to me—the crisp air, vibrant leaves, and that lovely stillness that pervades the earth, bringing a sense of contemplation & subtle understanding of life's rhythm & mysteries. It's as though, with the leaves fallen from the trees now, life becomes more fundamental, and we not only can see beyond the former foliage of tree canopies, we can also perceive the bare bones of our lives. Nature reveals much in her stark beauty. As we head towards Thanksgiving & our thoughts naturally become more meditative, I love to step out into Nature as often as I can to let the earth speak to me. Since moving to Colorado a few months ago, I've been taking my family on hikes nearly every weekend on backcountry trails in the Rocky Mountains that often lead to an elevation of 10-11,000 feet.
When I breathe the air at these heights & see the glorious views, I feel deeply blessed & also content. Nature & healthy loved ones are enough. The beauty of the outdoors is enough. The fragrance of the pines & soft chortle of wild turkeys or the call of the elk are enough. It seems like blasphemy in moments like this to be anything but grateful for life, color, love, and the majesty of nature.
And it's funny, but in times like this—when my mind is at peace and I don't waste a single thought on what I "want" in this world—that's when it seems like I experience the most magic. Some people call it serendipity: that unsought moment when a blessings arrives, light as a feather, that seems to synchronize perfectly with the contentment you've cultivated in your heart. For me, a delightful example of this phenomenon occurred recently when I took my family on a spur-of-the moment hike on an unmarked trail near my property. It turned out to be far steeper than we'd anticipated, with extremely rough terrain that luckily rewarded us with spectacular views. And as we neared the top, my son (who is no stranger to a belief in fairies), called out "Look mom—a kite!"
Indeed, at the top of a mountain (that was almost 10,000 feet) lay a dirty Star Wars kite under a boulder that looked like it had seen better days long ago. But my son insisted that "The fairies must have left it for us!", so my husband decided to unravel its string and give it a shot. It took a bit of time to straighten out its mangled cross sticks, but before long, we hoped we had it in working order...
The wind began to rise, and with my heart in my throat, I watched my boys' anticipation as my husband gave a yank on the kite string. If only you could see the joy in my boys' faces as that kite began to soar! They squealed & laughed & skipped & chased after it as the sun glinted off their foreheads & the breeze tousled their hair. Nothing on God's green earth could have made them happier in that moment than flying that beaten-up, discarded old kite.
And I thought to myself, "This is what magic really is." A swelling in the heart at an unexpected blessing. A child's glee. Abundant sunshine on a mountain meadow. A fragrant breeze. Laughter that you could almost swear was punctuated by the giggle of fairies. Or was that angels? And it didn't cost a thing. Simply a belief that in that moment, life is abundantly beautiful—more than enough—and a flimsy old plastic kite & some worn-out string are all it takes to thrill your soul & fill you up with a magical memory you'll never forget.
Oh, did I mention that we hadn't sold our old house yet & were paying two mortgages, my car needed fixing to the tune of 1,500 dollars, I'd pulled a tendon that made hiking precarious, and the trail back to my house was so steep that on parts of it we had to slide down on our butts?
None of those distractions could water down the magic of that particular moment—because I refused to let it. Because if I've learned anything about magic, it's this: Magic exists in the NOW. It's up to us to notice it & let if fill our hearts when it comes our way.
May this Autumn season give you many opportunities to stumble into magic. And may you have the wisdom & openness of heart to recognize those unexpected moments when they alight upon your world : )
(Photo credit note: All images on my blog are either my own or were gleaned from pictures in the public domains of facebook, pinterest, or other popular social networks. If you own the copyright to any of these images & do NOT want them used publicly, please contact me & I will take them down immediately! : )