06 January 2009

Little Miracles

I believe in magic. I always have. I think it's the best part of life.

My paternal grandmother was a pray-er. She got me started on the "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer early. I said it looking at the nightlight she gave me, because I was also afraid of the dark. I believed in boogie men, too. I was also terribly shy. No one believed I was shy, because I was also brazenly bold. It's tough being a dichotomy when you are two and three years old. What can I tell you? I'm a little complicated. And it was a miracle for me to leave my room sometimes when we had company (if newbies were involved).

I think it was one of the goodie-goodie girls who went to the Southern Baptist Church I lived next door to who enlightened me to the fact that you could pray for stuff. I remember being about five and praying really, really hard to wake up with the powers of Jeanie (as in "I Dream of..."). When that didn't happen, I went for the nose-wrinkling mojo of Samantha (as in "Bewitched"). Another fail. So I requested/prayed for/demanded the power of flight, or at least to be invisible when I wanted to be. I was also rather nosy as a kid, and I hated it when I was sent out of the room so the grown-ups could talk. Finally, I realized I was destined to be a mere mortal without any supernatural talents. I'm still getting over the devastation.

That didn't stop me from believing in magic, though. Not like the silly pull-money-from-your-ear magic (which I never bought), but the stuff that angels and fairy godmothers could bring about. Little things like getting an A on a test I didn't study for. Or walking a straight line from the kitchen door, past my mother sleeping on the sofa and to my room without her noticing I was a tad tipsy. You'd think the hiccups would have given me away, but that's magic for you. Or maybe parental denial.

I've always gotten a kick out of getting a call from the person I was thinking of, or finding a parking spot when I'm desperate, or somehow defying physics and being on time when I was running so far behind. This magic can be miraculous.

I've gone big with my prayers and had those answered, too. Regularly, I recite my gratitude for each. But it's the little miracles that happen all the time tickle me so. Nabbing that perfect parking space is always a blessing in L.A. Or when The Gap gives you an additional 30% off when you had no business shopping anyway ($8 jeans are a miracle no matter how you slice it). A job offer right when you need it. An email announcing another step forward. A phone call that goes from tears to laughter. Being so connected to someone that you feel them even though they are hundreds of miles away. Realizing your mistakes and weaknesses, and moving to a place beyond that. Opening up and letting go. These are the little miracles that I adore. And they are what keep me believing in magic. Even if I still can't fly or turn invisible.

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