I have a bit of “Big Magic” to share with you today. I am in Salem, OR this week and my favorite place to visit when I am out here is the coast at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City: a big long stretch of beach;
a beautiful view of Chief Kiawanda Rock, one of three “haystack rocks” along the coast;
and my favorite brew, MacPelican Ale, at the Pelican.
A great trifecta!
So what made the day magic? There was no wind, the sun was shining, and the temperature was in the low 70’s. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. I arrived around 9:30 and immediately took off for a long walk on the beach. This beach is the only place I’ve ever found sand dollars and many years ago, I happened to find two that were intact, so I hoped to find one again. As I walked, I kept my eyes peeled for a dollar, but all I found were pieces. Lots and lots of pieces. I walked for a couple of miles and decided it was time to turn back. The tide was receding some, so I walked further out and still kept an eye out for a dollar, but no luck. Then I decided to sing to the ocean. I mean, what the heck, no one can hear you above the waves, and I love to sing when no one is listening, so I started singing just random songs, then I composed one for the ocean, sung to the tune of Mr. Sandman, and it went something like this: Oh missus ocean, send me a buck, one that is whole and full of luck…. and so there I was walking and singing and low and behold, there it was, a sand dollar, in almost perfect form. Wow, right? (Oh, you’re worrying about my sanity? Please don’t. It’s just one of my freaky quirks, which I know a lot of you indulge in too! Yes??? Well, if you don’t, give it a try. Makes you feel great!) I loved my little bit of magic.
But there’s more! After I had my MacPelican Ale and veggie burger, I decided a nap and read on the beach were in order.
I had been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, and came upon the section, “Does it Love You?” about Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, a botanist that asks her students each year, “Do you love nature?” and all hands go up. Then she asks, “Does nature love you?” and all hands go down, but she makes the point to them that “ancient people did not see it this way…[they] operated with a sense of being in a reciprocal emotional relationship with their physical surroundings.” Robin puts it this way: “The exchange of love between earth and people calls forth the creative gifts of both. The earth is not indifferent to us, but rather calling for our gifts in return for hers–the reciprocal nature of life and creativity.” I was blown away by this! First, I have always had a relationship with the earth around me. I have literarily hugged trees; wondered over rocks, grass, streams; talked to spiders and praying mantis; and felt lulled by the breeze. I feel in tune with nature. Second, I just sang to the ocean and she gave me a sand dollar! And now I’m reading about a reciprocal relationship. To me, that is magic. Indeed! What a day!
I will review Big Magic in an upcoming post, because I loved this book and think many of you will too! But for today, I will just wish you a bit of magic of your own. Sometimes we can find it in the most unexpected places if we only pay attention.
Sending you love and peace and magic!
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