the year of magical living
it’s not even started yet, but already serendipity keeps tapping me on the shoulder, and as i turn my head swiftly to see who’s there, i discover a bright and buoyant sprite hovering behind me. it’s as if she’s cooing in my ear, soothing me with the words, “it’ll be all right.”
up and moving does not come easily to nesty girls, girls like me, girls with roots like wild fennel, that twisty-turny underground extension that nearly requires a crowbar to expunge it from the garden.
up and moving is not on my list of things i’d do on any old unscheduled monday.
no, not at all.
but here’s the thing that keeps giving me goosebumps: our adventure to cambridge, massachusetts, seems to be enchanted.
the uncanniest bits of magic keep darting into the cobbled lane, standing in my path, shouting, “look at me, you can’t deny me. who says you’re too old for make-believe and happily ever afters?”
it seems that there are life lessons here, ones worth mining, ones to hold up to the sunlight, to examine from every which way.
long, long ago in the depths of winter, once i’d talked my way through the self-imposed hurdles and barricades, the ones that tried to keep me back, the 101 reasons why staying put made much more sense than up and moving in the middle of my family’s merry life, why it seems the heavens took their cue, opened wide and showered down on me what, so far, seems a fairy-dusted parade.
there’s the third-floor aerie i’ve described in a meandering at the start of summer. and more than that — so much more — there’s the fellow you might technically call my landlord, though i now think of him as something of a life beacon, a spiritual guide, a friend.
why, just last night he sent a final email from his cambridge study, telling me how he’d transformed his college daughter’s bedroom into a room fit for an 11-year-old sports fanatic boy. he called it a “sports den,” went on to note that he’d erected bunk beds, found a bulletin board and hung it over the desk. he cleared shelves for the trophies that are sure to be accumulated (these days, at least in these parts, sports teams dish out trophies for the simple act of showing up….). he even bought and washed a set of twin sheets in a color he chose after careful consideration. he didn’t want my little guy sleeping on girl-colored sheets or store-starched ones straight out of the package; he wanted comfort for the sportster, and he stopped at nothing, bless his bountiful heart.
he’s left me a whole study filled with poetry tomes and texts. the sacred music shelf awaits, arranged in chronological order, no less (i’d best not mix up my medievals and my renaissance chants). and he’s written out directions to the monastery two blocks away, and the one farther down the shore where he tells me i can rent a hermitage for a $60 donation, and expect three meals with all that quiet.
here we pause for that holy exclamation, the one we shout at all our passover seders, “dayenu!” meaning, as if that’s not plenty enough….
ah, but there is more.
and the latest serendipitous installment is pictured up above. that charming house, the one with window frames in blue and red and yellow, the one with at least one parrot perched in a window, well it’s just down the lane from where we’ll be roosting, and i was so enchanted by its paintbox whimsy as i strolled past that first fine sunday morning when we sealed the deal on the aerie, i snapped its picture. i couldn’t help it. it just called out to me, and even if i only tucked it in my pocket in digital pixels, i could not leave it behind.
turns out i just spoke to the lovely woman who lives there, and it’s the very place where we’ll likely be parking our four wheels. we’d been searching high and low for lots or garages — civic, public, paved or unpaved, didn’t matter — and through the most circuitous, serendipitous of circumstances, i found myself just this morning on the phone with the owner of that storybook cottage, and as might be expected her voice is one that might lull you into a soft and feathered state of contentment.
now how could it be — other than pure stardust and moonbeams — that the one house in all of cambridge that i could not pass without clicking a snapshot is the one house where i’ll soon get to pull into the gravel drive, perhaps exchange a morning’s greeting, or a basket of muffins, with the dear dear soul who lives there?
and so, as i continue on with the steady work of packing up our clothes and a little boy’s essentials, as i feel the tug and pull of saying goodbye to friends and a house and a garden and a mother who i’ll miss each and every day, i keep my ear tuned to the whispers that keep coming from the east: i’m convinced that it’s the beckoning of sprites and angels, and they’re drawing me to someplace magical, to a year of deep enchantments and truths to last a whole life long.
all that’s left to do is play along….
dear chair friends, as i type these keystrokes, our beloved HH is being wheeled into surgery. hold her in your prayers. hold her, hold her…..she did not escape the fear that nearly leveled me. it’s her second round with breast cancer, and while the prognosis is great and good, a mastectomy is no woman’s first choice. dear God, hold her and all her hopes and dreams.
and while we’re at it, please watch over my beloved landlords as they drive from massachusetts to new mexico, for the first chapter of their new adventure. the aerie is emptied out now, for a short spell. we’ll be the next ones who lay our sleepy heads on its pillows, who open wide the doors, fill the bird feeders, listen to the sacred chants. after we pull our shiny car into the slot at the paintbox house of serendipity and charm, and yet another new friend…
what serendipities have leapt upon your cobbled path of late??
Babs: may your adventure continue to be so blessed. But if there are rocky moments, here are my wishes for you: 1) that you will be able to maintain a sense of humor and 2) that, on some crisp, autumn afternoon (or some swelteringly hot autumn afternoon) you find yourself on a street corner next to a stranger who, like, you, has just dropped a kid off at some activity. May that stranger adopt you and may that friendship get you through any situational or social bumps that come during the Year of Living Adventurously. xoxo
and may i bring home a knowing that the life of enchantment is always all around us. if only we can clear through the muck.
and yes, on my lifetime list of serendipity, there ranks way up high the very act of turning ’round on a windy cold street corner, and discovering a lifelong forever friend. xoxox
You will have a year of whimsy and grace. And pie.
Praying for HH, praying, praying. And for all of you! Glad you are receiving (and recognizing) the signs you are on the right path. Go and be blessed! Can’t wait it read all the posts. Love xoxo