Magic Where We Find It


I’ve written before about the need for mystery in our lives, the lure that magic holds for us, the desire for miracles.  In his brilliant book, HOGFATHER, Terry Pratchett writes:  Humans need fantasy to be human.  To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

Oh, yes.

Every day, magic presents itself to us if we have but the wit to find it.  Sometimes it isn’t easily observable; one must hone patience and skill, and learn to look in odd places.

Here is my bit of today’s magic:  Driving across the Gold Star Bridge from Groton to New London in a heavy snow-storm.  Roads are slick; half the people are driving sanely, the other half not so much.  All I want is to get home.   At the crest of the bridge I look to the right, toward where I know the Thames River (pronounced like James; I know, I’m sorry) runs along the Coast Guard Academy.  Today there is nothing to see except a blank canvas of white and fog.  And then….

Rising up on some odd thermal from the water or the skirl of wind from beneath the bridge, hovering not with effort (as is often the case with the winds here) but with an ease that is ethereal, is a flock of seagulls.  They seemed to not be riding the storm so much as to be made of it — white and grey on white and grey, wings held just so and umoving, bobbing slightly in the air as if fixed into place like bobble-dolls, a cosmic mobile for the pleasure of Childe Earth.

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About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Coast Guard, Connecticut, Essays, fantasy, Hogfather, Melissa Crandall, Snow, Terry Pratchett, Thames River, Water, winter, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Magic Where We Find It

  1. timkeen40 says:

    There is nothing as magical as the animals in their natural setting, just going along, managing to stay n tune with nature and not damaging it.

    http://timkeen40.wordpress.com

  2. So wonderful an opportunity for you to see the marvelous wonders of the world around. I drive over Gold Star almost everyday, and I always look out to the water. The way the houses sit on the hills, the boats in the water, and yes, the birds in the air seem to remind me of the Quiet. The Quiet where our thoughts find solace and peace. The Quiet where we take ourselves when the world feels like it’s swallowing up our time. Thanks ever so much for sharing your wonderful moment. I will be on the lookout for some birds / Quiet when I cross the bridge later today.

    • Hi Christina. Thanks for commenting. The GSB intimidates the heck out of me (I don’t like bridges or heights), but I can’t deny that the view is magnificent. Going north you have the sea. Coming south it’s the river and the USCGA. There’s always something. (I’ve even caught sight of a submarine once or twice.)

  3. Lucky you to view such avaian magic. Birds have such a remarkable relationship to wind. They know more about air than any scientist could hope to learn in a dozen lifetimes of research. And all this knowledge is the birds’.
    Hmm, what a sight of gulls!

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