Wondering What Magic Exists

 In Mindfulness and Meditation, Weekly Forum Discussion


I love these artist’s dates. To catch you up if you haven’t heard of this idea, it comes from a practice that Julia Cameron wrote about in her book “The Artist’s Way”. The intent is to have an adventure—just you by yourself, doing something you’ve never done before.

I love my family, I love my friends, and as I get wiser I realize that while I have come to love myself (imperfectly perfect and all), I don’t often have that date time with myself. So it takes a bit of planning to pull off a “me day” but ooooh the excitement and anticipation leading up to it is energizing. It really feels like the early stages of dating. Don’t get me wrong, I still look forward to date nights with my hubby. Given that those are few and far between, they too still feel like early dating. But this is a date just for me. For me alone. Whatever I want to do, no compromise or checking with another to make sure it’s good for them too. It’s delicious.

I wake up excited. Like a kid in anticipation of a new start. I take care of the needed things at home so the uncompleted to-do list isn’t hanging over my head and interrupting the deliciousness of a day all to myself.  I kiss my kids and hubby and off I go. I have decided to explore my town.

It sounds silly, I mean really I have lived here for almost 15 years. I explored by bike when my hubby and I first settled here, up and down the new neighbourhoods and admiring the old parts of town too. Then when the kids were born, it was done on foot. Kids in strollers and me taking in the sun, the paths, the wooded areas and sometimes the surprise hidden gem of a park nestled in the forest. Like a charming little cottage except it was a park. And then adulting and rushing all over the place took over and everything is now done by car in a hurry. I notice I drive by sites that are beautiful without really seeing them.

Ooooh I am tingling! Where to start? The library. Laugh all you want but there is such a sense of peace for me there. It whisks me back to my childhood when I would ride my bike to the library. Pore through the shelves, pick up what seemed like every book to study the cover, read the back, feel the story and decide whether is was worth the weight in my backpack. Library these days seems to go like this: rush in, let the kids play on the computer, run to the lookup computer with a book already in mind and then search to find that one book on the shelf, if they even have it. Then herd the kids to their section while they pick books and then start to whine that “I am bored”. The whole thing takes 5 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, we all really enjoy our books once we get home, but it’s not an experience.

So I walk into this library. There are a couple in town, I am at the main one. It’s been here for 10 years and I have only ever been on the main floor because this is where the kids’ books are. I’ve always looked longingly at the stairs leading up to the unknown. Wondering what magic existed at the top of those stairs. I walk up slowly taking it all in. Despite the windows, the lighting is dim. It’s grey and cloudy out but the lighting is perfect. It’s warm. It’s cozy. I look around. Shelves upon shelves of books. Fiction, self-help, biographies….it’s all there. All waiting. I am here, really here.

I smile as I overhear conversations of what I assume are university students talking about an assignment and debating the content of what to include. It was a long time ago and yet feels like just yesterday I was doing that. I turn another corner and a parent is tutoring his child in math. They are speaking Spanish. I catch the gist of the conversation and feel as though I am intruding in this really tender moment between father and son. It warms my heart, this patience and gentleness to explain to a kid clearly frustrated with math.

I keep walking and stop in front of a shelf. Books start calling to me. I pick up this one, that one, really taking the time to feel the energy of the book, to read the back, to check in with what resonates. What do I need to be reading right now? What is going to feed my soul? Honestly, I think just being present with these books, with being really here, is feeding my soul. Like somehow the books are bringing me the enlightenment and the peace through osmosis. I am giggling as I am writing this. Thinking “this sounds crazy” and then flicking away that thought and saying to myself, “It is what it is. I am simply describing my truth of this magical moment”. I leave the library. I have no concept of time, though I am certain it was more than 5 minutes.

It’s cold and damp but I want to be outdoors so I head to downtown. I park my car, grab my camera and head for the forested area. I love the peace of this space. There is a wooded pathway split by a stream that opens up to a pond with a gazebo. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is. It’s romantic, charming and clears my head in milliseconds. I am walking slowly. Taking in the sights. Yes, it’s grey but there are varying hues of grey, silver and even the trees, while free of leaves, each sway in the breeze with their multitudes of browns, caramels and even cream colours.

As I marvel with my eyes to the sky I look down, I don’t know what compels me to. And there it is. A little ray of sunshine amidst rocks. In winter, in rocks no less, in a habitat that should never have borne such a thing, miraculously there it stands, a beautiful yellow flower. I feel it’s reminding me to shine, shine on, no matter what the environment is doing. Message received. I take a picture. I am pleased with myself. I breathe deeply, I listen the trees whisper, I hear the water, not quite frozen, rush by. I even see ducks. I marvel at how the duck sits in this water, that I can only imagine is ice cold, and seem so calm and happy there. It reminds me of the Huna principle Aloha: To love is to be happy with. The essence of the principle is to be happy now. There may not be a perfect time, the perfect circumstance, so why deprive yourself of happiness in wait for that “perfect” moment? I smile. I feel the perfection of right now. I check in. I am happy. I am also cold. I can hardly feel my fingers and maybe it’s the duck in the water but my butt is freezing too.

I leave the woods and head back for the downtown. I walk on the sidewalk feeling a bit more sheltered close to the old bricked buildings. I take more pictures. What a charming clock tower. Why have I never noticed that before? I see my favourite shop. I go in. I really just want to warm up. The shop keeper greets me warmly saying how happy she is to see me again. I like her. We’ve had some interesting conversations. She just gives off a warmth. She is like a hug without the touching.

I walk through the store, smelling every stick of incense. I pick up every book, every oracle card deck. I even take the time to look at the art hanging on the wall. Really look at it. I take in the feelings of the art and then I cast my eyes on this great plaque on the wall saying “Go smudge yourself”. Ha! I love it. It’s not for sale so I take a picture.  And then I get to the crystals. I pick them up, I love the energy of them. And inevitably it happens. I am drawn to one. It’s buzzing quite happily in my hand sending shivers up and down my spine till my whole body is tingly and I feel like I am wearing a crown of tingles. I smile and think, I am worth it. I take it to the cash and the shopkeeper rings up my purchase. I know it’s meant for me and it’s right when the cost of the stone is exactly the spare change I have in my wallet.

I am filled up now. Satiated. I am content, I am happy. Time to go home. And I didn’t get to half the things I had mentally planned. I am happy with that though. There is no judgement or disappointment. It means that vegan restaurant and the craft store will have to wait to the next artist’s date. If it’s anything like today’s date it’s worth the wait. If I keep up with these dates, I have a feeling I am going to fall madly head over heels in love with myself. Ahhh, breathe that in. Bliss.


Recommended Posts