October 05, 2008

Magical Places

Have you ever been merrily going about your life and suddenly realized that you have happened into a magical place? Did you shiver with the beginnings of goose-bumps? Or maybe while walking down the sidewalk or having lunch with friends you look up and there, across the way, is a magical person cleverly disguised as a normal citizen?

I'm thinking I am one of the lucky people because I have found myself in magical places quite often and have met (or just spied) some pretty magical people.

I grew up in Colorado ~ a wonderland in itself so you know that the individual magical spots are extremely enchanted. There was a gully behind our house on Meade Street that captivated the young mind, turned us into pirates and explorers, King's of Mountains one-and-all.

Then there was the old swing on my grandparent's front porch. Now that portico and it's enchanted swing held magical moments for several generations! A place of first kisses and good-bye kisses, fortune tellings and joke tellings, maybe a proposal or two and talking cats. The posts of the porch helped launch one young woman (who shall remain anonymous) on many adventures as it was the most covert access to the ground and therefore, the world, from her bedroom window.

When I was a little girl I would sit on that swing between my Aunt Janice and my loving Uncle Bill. We were only blocks from the Denver Zoo, so as we rocked back and forth on the old swing in the warm dark evenings of summer we could hear the growls of the lions and tigers, the ruckus of monkies and the odd calls of the peacocks. My aunt and uncle would talk to each other about the "escaped-man-eating tiger" or a gorilla who jumped bail! All to make me shiver and scoot up closer to Uncle Bill, for surely he would scoop me up and carry me into Grandma's house if a tiger jumped out of the bushes...or at least I could scurry into the house while the tiger devoured poor my poor uncle.

Our whole family once went to Mother Cabrini Shrine in the mountains, again while I was very young. Now that place is Goose-Bump-City! Even as a little girl I knew that I was smack-dab in the middle of something magic. Even the adults were different, found out much later that the adults were in a state which we call "reverence" and if you knew my family...well, reverence is a state we don't often visit!

If you've never been to Colorado in the autumn then you have truly missed a magical time. The Rocky Mountains are pretty magical any time but when whole ranges turn to shades of gold and red and orange....and you are a young girl running through the trees with your brother and sister and cousins....well, the term magical falls short, it is purely numinous.

Henry Cowell Redwoods...
...maybe not as famous as the grand Redwood forests of Northern California but oh so mystical and enchanted. The Elementals are everywhere and if you are young and haven't learned yet that you can't see them because they "don't exist" then you are never alone. This magical land in the middle of the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the last bastions for Brownies and Fairies and Gnomes. Don't get caught feeding them your pancakes in the morning...adults get aggitated to see a half eaten pancake scampering off into the undergrowth

About 10 years ago my daughter and I were driving across the states in a big yellow rented truck with her dog and her cat. She was leaving New York City and moving back to California. We hired a couple of hunky guys from Brooklyn to load the truck and then we took off, drove to Maine to find a rocky seashore, didn't find it (but that is another blog) and then cut across New Hamshire and Vermont and headed home. Now you know we saw many places. It was really quite the journey. We saw and heard and tasted and felt many many magical things but the most magical of all....truly the most magical of all was a rest stop in Nebraska!.....I swear on a stack of bibles and Betty-Crocker Cookbooks....it was a magical place of incredible dimensions.

It was just twilight, a pretty enchanted time anyway. We stopped and let Chief, her dog, walk around a little....Nikka, her cat would not come out from under the front seat since the mishap at a toll road a couple of states earlier( again...another blog/another time). It was just a rest stop. Bathrooms, water fountain, grassy area and trees. Anyone passing it on the highway might not take a second glance but the minute we stopped and got out we were both in awe. Something very special was happening here....we looked at each other and felt those goose-bumps tickling our necks and arms and running up and down our backs.

Without discussion we laid down in the grass and watched the trees gently swaying in the wind. Who knew a little rest stop in the middle of Nebraska.....hell, who knew anything in the middle of Nebraska could be magical. Who knew how long we laid there in the soft green grass...it could have been a lifetime...or just moments.

So, the point of my story today? Be Aware! Magic is everywhere. Know that there are lands of enchantment all around you. Let the magic fill your soul and take you to your own Never-Ever Lands. You don't always have to head for the North Star and turn left to get there.

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