This is a note that I wrote on a different website. I will probably be referring to it a lot on here, so here it is:
My new mission is to take every ordinary experience in my life and to make it extraordinary. Or at least to make it sound as if it were. Extraordinary, I mean. Today’s subject is to be the walk I took on Tuesday.
I biked over to my grandma’s house to walk her adorable little fluzzie bundle of barking joy, Bruceter. If I haven’t made it clear enough yet, he’s a dog. A very tiny dog, but he packs a lot of love for his size. Anyways, I usually take him around this little path in the center of my grandma’s neighborhood. It goes in a circle around the pool and little park, and around the big grassy area with all the lovely trees, tra la la. So anyway, I started getting tired of going around and around in circles. Plus all these scary menacing *shudder* teenagers were hanging around and were starting to freak me out. Along the trail, there were these little paved paths that led from the park area to where all the houses were. I wandered down one of these and started walking along the streets lined with houses. Then I noticed a little paved trail that didn’t lead back to the central park. Curious me decided to explore.
It only went a very short distance before opening up to a path perpendicular to it, much longer. The short path was just a tributary into this larger one. I was pretty much smack-dab in the center of the big trail, so I turned left first. Wandering down that way, I began wondering why I had never found this trail before. My cousins and sister and I used to fly around this neighborhood during the frequent dinner parties at my grandma’s house, coming home in time for the “dinner” part of the party. And it took me thirteen years to find this little path? My grandmother had been living here since before I was born, and I thought I knew this neighborhood well. Apparently not. I was still unaware of the grand discovery I was about to make.
So here I am on this ordinary-looking path, with ordinary-looking shrubs and ordinary-looking trees. It turns out I was pretty near the end of the path, because it abruptly stopped and opened up into a cul-de-sac. Nothing to see here, except a weird random bright orange truck. Ye-ow. So I turn around. And I take a step.
One single, solitary step.
And as I am taking this step, I look out to the pathway in front of me. I can look back now and think, gee, there was nothing special about it, but then at that moment it felt, for lack of a better word, magical. Magical is too strong of a word to describe what it felt like, but really, there is no other way to describe it. Half-magical? Maybe three-quarters. But for now, let’s just say it was magical. The blustering cold now just felt crisp, like I had stepped out of my body and into new skin. I lifted my head and tasted the air on my tongue and felt the breeze on my cheeks and heard the wind in my ears. One slow blink just made everything clearer. Suddenly everything is satin and gloss, and I am a pixie, or maybe an angel, floating through this wonderland. I remember what my feet are for and start walking deeper into this unreal world. A gorgeous display of trees and dirt and pavement, arranged just for me. Leaves are sprinkled like sugar on oatmeal all over the ground, and the ones still on the trees make a canopy over my head, rustling softly in the breeze. They pray for the leaf-corpses scattered all over the ground. When a plant dies, are the remnants really considered a corpse? So all this fall, I have been raking dead bodies off my lawn and cramming them into big black bags? These are the thoughts that are passing through my mind as I pick up a leaf and twirl it between my thumb and forefinger. “You are a twisted freak,” my conscience states concisely. I shrug to myself and let the leaf flutter back to the ground. Maybe the reason I feel so weird is because this is a graveyard? There must be a mass murderer on the loose. I suspect Gus Tovwind. (Reread that... now again... do you get it?? Gust of wind? Ha! Ha! Ha!)
The wind picks up and the leaves start whispering louder. Each one is telling its own story, murmuring softly to anybody who comes by. You know what? I bet a lot of leaves die from depression. Each one has a unique story to tell, but nobody ever bothers to listen. I take pity, and I stop, and I listen. And I ask them why this path is making me feel so strange and... special, but they don’t answer. They want to finish their stories before the wind blows and they fall to the ground, lying there in agony until they eventually shrivel and dry up, reduced to a crunchy wad that will just get stomped on by some pesky kid. I could almost cry.
But the bittersweet moment ends as I continue my journey down the path. It opens up into more cul-de-sacs every few yards. I bounce along the trail, feeling like the pavement could be a big fluffy down pillow layered with marshmallows rather than concrete, and I could be a twinkly fairy, rather than just another person in the world.
I stroll along slowly, admiring how clean and pure the air feels in my lungs. I suck in deep breaths of it. When I exhale, my face naturally goes into a smile. Can breathing be a hobby? Try it, right now. You sitting at the computer. Doesn’t a big huge deep breath make your day just that much better? Why was everything here beautiful? Why were the bushes so lush and the trees so green and the air so crisp? Who knows.
Oh. Remember how I had a dog? Bruceter had been plodding along silently and obediently, there, but not in the wonderland my mind was turning this path into. Anyway, while I am busy breathing, there is a breeze and the leaves scud along the ground. Bruceter flips out, emitting a sharp bark and chasing after them. My arm is yanked halfway out of its socket as I hold on to the leash for dear life. “Bruceter!” I shout in surprise. He trots back, panting and grinning. I shake my head at him and continue on my trail. Wait. Something is different. The air doesn’t feel so impossibly clean anymore. And the pavement is just pavement, not pillows and marshmallows, and the leaves are just leaves, not sprinkled sugar or corpses or whispering storytellers. And me, I’m just me. I backpedal slowly, stepping carefully deeper into my glorious world. But the world has lost its glory, and I am once again on an ordinary path in a cold, lusterless universe. I have re-entered the real world. Leaves blow in the trees, but they don’t tell any stories. And I breathe air, but it doesn’t cleanse my lungs. And I walk along the pavement, but my feet have lost their bounce. My wonderland was like carefully crafted blown glass, just as beautiful, but shattered just as easily.
Magic doesn’t exist anywhere in the entire world, except in the minds of those few people with a powerful imagination. And magic can’t exist in an object. Or maybe it can, but only in the moment you believe it is there. Maybe it wasn’t the path that contained the magic. What made those few minutes so mystical was me truly beleiving that the magic was there. And in my mind, it was. But I only had it for a short time, until my wonderful moment ended. So be looking for your moment, and enjoy it to its fullest before it slips away. The beauty of magic is only powerful enough to kiss your life once in a very long while. I was on an ordinary path in some random neighborhood on a regular old Tuesday. And it was on this ordinary day that I was visited by the extraordinary. The circumstances might not be unusual, but when your magical moment occurs, you will feel it, and you will know.
And hopefully, you won’t think I’m crazy anymore. =)
(Sorry, I just couldn’t end it on a serious note like that.)