Every year at Christmas there was a holiday luncheon at the Ambassador’s Club where my Grandfather had a membership. Santa came with a huge bag of toys. All the children took their turns sitting on Santa’s knee and then reached into the bag for a present. I was with my two sisters and my cousins Debbie and Connie. We had all drawn our gift and unwrapped it.
I received a kaleidoscope; I loved the magic and watching the beautiful colors turning and changing shapes. The others had all received something different from me and all the exact same toy. They were saying how lucky they were to have this special toy and how sad it was that I hadn’t. I started to believe them; to believe that they had received this very special toy and that I had been left out.
Being the eldest cousin and very kind, Connie said she would trade me so I could have a toy like all the others. I remember loving my kaleidoscope but believing from how they were all talking, that this particular toy they had was far more special. I traded. I don’t even remember what the toy was. When I held it, there was nothing there. No magic. It was just some stupid ordinary toy that looked great on the outside. I had such deep remorse for trading the thing I really loved for something so worthless. I missed the magic of the light and the colors forming into multitudes of new wondrous shapes with my kaleidoscope. I even asked to undo the trade but was told by one of the parents that I needed to live with what I now had.
I wonder… where in our lives have we traded the childlike wonder, curiosity, magic and miraculous for what those around us told us were the things that were “cool,” the must-have item. What died in us when we allowed others to tell us what was so, and how to think, and what we were supposed to feel?
It is not too late. We can resurrect the magic we so easily handed over so we could conform. Where do you find magic? Is it looking for seashells along a seashore? A walk in the forest? Sitting in silence? Watching the sunset? There is so much magic in the natural world.
I remember in the third grade we each brought an egg carton to school and we were to find different types of rocks to put into the divided compartments; metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous. I was so excited collecting different rocks and putting them into my carton that I was two hours late coming home from school. I was in the bliss of my experience and there was nothing else in my awareness, including time.
As you’ll experience for yourself, time flies–it completely disappears–when you are in the magic moments.