February - A Magical Life
In early January I heard of the death of a Sister of St. Joseph who entertained old and young alike throughout her life as the magician Sister Leprechaun. Because she was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Broken Wand Ceremony was performed at her funeral. Through tears, another member magician broke Sister’s wooden wand and placed it in her casket. He said that without her, the wand had lost its magic.
The image of that broken wand touched me deeply and spoke volumes about our present reality on our rare and precious planet. It seems there is no magic in a world where mountain tops are removed, forests are clear-cut, Native American sacred sites are lost to profit, oceans are choked with plastic, and human beings are denied justice. The problem lies within us when we have died to the miracle and magic of a living Earth and Universe.
In her book Braiding Sweetgrass, biologist Robin Wall Kimmerer highlights some magic of our world: Light is turned to sugar. Salamanders find their way to ancestral ponds following magnetic lines radiating from the earth. The saliva of grazing buffalo causes the grass to grow taller. Tobacco seeds germinate when they smell smoke. Microbes in industrial waste can destroy mercury. (Kimmerer, 345) How my imagination is sparked and my love for Earth ignited when I read such descriptions. This helps me know I live a magical life!
In another book Kimmerer reflects: With sophisticated technology, we strive to see what is beyond us, but are often blind to the myriad sparkling facets that lie so close at hand. We think we're seeing when we've only scratched the surface...Has the power of our devices let us to distrust our unaided eyes? Or have we become dismissive of what takes no technology but only time and patience to perceive? Attentiveness alone can rival the most powerful magnifying lens. (Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses)
Magic calls an audience to attentiveness just as our living planet evokes attentiveness – the kind that is also prayer, the kind that takes time and patience to develop. May we be alive to the wonders through which we walk every day of our magical lives. And may we be grateful!
Photo: Thanks to Lora Ninova on Unsplash