In my 30s I ran a piano studio at home, played organ for the church, and mothered four youngsters who enjoyed free-wheeling the semi-rural countryside near Dayton, Ohio. There were challenges day to day, if not moment to moment. My kids had their accidents and took their knocks, part of the freedom they prized then and continue to do so, today. During their “patching up,” like any parent, I worried. When all was well, I counted my blessings.
A life-long reader, I enjoyed being a member of two book clubs. The varied reading “assignments” and intellectual discussions expanded my horizons. One book that made an impact was a biography of the Russian czarina whose son inherited hemophilia. I was intensely moved by a segment that described how that mother dealt with not knowing, moment to moment, if a simple fall or bruise would start bleeding that couldn’t be stopped, so she’d lose her son. The gift of my own normally healthy brood was underlined. I was moved to tears to read that this woman managed to get through each day by focusing on a moment of beauty, such as meditating on a single rose bud and the miracle it held.
That story’s lesson stayed with me, helping me in times of stress and sorrow. I welcomed magical moments. Indeed, I invited them into my life to be the brightest guiding stars in my sky, and I recorded them.
The moment of magic might be as simple as watching a bud and anticipating its full-blown, scented glory (a miracle in itself!); noting that a friend or family member unexpectedly called or stopped in to brighten my day when shortly after I had strong thoughts of them; or being licked by a roguish dog I only occasionally see as if he were communicating, “It’s OK, this will pass,” when I was suffering a bout of nausea in his presence. But the key element here is that the moment was welcomed as part of life’s indefinable magic and mystery, and noted as important.
Then there were the really “whammy” notable capital M Magical events, such as having an impossibly brilliant bridge of rainbow lead me to drive unknown territory to enter a desert sanctuary where I experienced my first hearing-impaired, signing choir (something I never knew existed). Or slipping off my body easy as peeling off tights to float above it and get away from severe pain until it was time to return and finish “my work.” Or seeing the green flash of the New Millennium on Christmas Eve at sunset — the event that foretold the name of this column series.
Many of the magical moments in my book of life have found their way into poems and stories. Once, a friend’s magical, mystical moment intersected with mine. I wrote this story about a “magic fish” that was given to me, and just kept on giving in amazing and unexpected ways, submitting it to a writing competition. It garnered me a writing prize and publication, still giving after the fact.
Other people have also shared their own stories with me. I share my latest with permission, Dear Readers.
When I met John, I didn’t know where the conversation was going to lead. He was skimming leaves from the pool I was immersed in while performing some water therapy exercises. I told him that since sustaining an injury, I felt blue, finding it hard or nigh impossible to do just about everything with my hands, and especially missed being able to play my violin. This led to casual talk about music. He let on that he also played music, guitar mostly, but he’d like more time to learn to play the cello. Serendipitously, he eventually told me this story. I say “serendipitously” because hearing it helped to bring me out of the doldrums to remember the magical moments that carry us on high waves.
John’s a hard worker. A family man, he runs a small sustainable farm and also helps heal people. A friend of his called “out of the blue,” saying he was on island briefly. John picked him up and took him touring. Near Kee Beach, John felt moved to take his friend to climb the cliff to see the “Blue Hole” wet cave. Nearing it, strains of music wafted down. Within the confines of the cave they found a cellist creating the rich, throaty sound John described as “ethereal.”
Amazing, he said. Amazing, I agreed.
It was one of those moments.
How likely would it of be for someone to lug a big violincello uphill to play in such a rocky outdoor studio? And why on that unplanned day off, for John, with his cello wish, in that particular window of time and space?
Highly unlikely. We chuckled about this. And yet, “strange but true.”
Kauai abounds with incredible energy and vibration. Living here challenges us to be our most creative selves, summoning our courage to deal with the darkest hours of dread and despair, through hum-drum routines necessary to life, to the explosion of solstice suns and full moons in joyous, loving times. Most of us know this from experience. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have your own magical, mystical moment to recount and allow me to share via The Green Flash.
Dawn Fraser Kawahara, author and poet, made her home on Kauai over 30 years ago. She and her husband, a retired biology teacher, live quietly with books, music and birds in Wailua Homesteads. The writer’s books may be found in local outlets and on Amazon, or writing for info to firstname.lastname@example.org