• Jesse Williams, LPC-MHSP

Proof that Today is Magical Part 1

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

I woke up this morning and rolled over. "What kind of day will it be?" I wondered.

I grabbed my phone and checked it. Scrolled through the various notifications. Responded to a few friends.

And thought to myself: Today is going to be a magical day.

But then as I rolled out of bed and onto my feet, stumbling towards the bathroom, life felt anything but magical: I better tidy up the bathroom today.

Wonder what we're eating for dinner tonight?

Can't forget to send confirmations to my clients for appointments tomorrow!

I should update my website if I get a chance.

Oh geez, we need to take family photos soon.

I need to exercise.

School! I can't forget to do school with the kids!

When was the last time I wrote a blog?! I really need to do one soon.

What's going to be for lunch?

Did we need something from the store? I swear there was something.

Probably should do some more holiday shopping?

I know... that doesn't sound too magical, right? It sounds like a whole lot of adulting with a side of forgetfulness and general busy-ness.

I internally groaned.

I replied to a few friends again, and then it hit me: But today was supposed to be magical?

I sure didn't see proof of magic. What I saw was proof of life with kids. Proof of being an adult. Proof of messes that needed to be cleaned up. Of bills to pay. Of work to complete. Of hoops to jump through. But magic? Nah, I couldn't find that today.

I slowly got myself together and dressed for the day. Talked to my partner and decided the plans for the day. The type of day it would be. And it was sounding much like a take-this-downstairs-run-these-errands-figure-out-dinner-help-kids-with-school-try-to-exercise-do-some-computer-work type of day. Notice: not much magic on the list, right?

But exercise was on the list, so I threw on my tennis shoes and decided to get to it. I didn't feel like doing a random exercise DVD or YouTube video, so I stepped outside into the 35 degree morning, and I took a deep breath in.

That breath was initially meant to be the beginning of a sigh of resignation to a day of hoop jumping. That breath was meant to be a "Well, here we go" as I tried to cram in a bit of exercise amidst a day of adulting. But that breath surprised me. When I took that deep breath in, it wasn't horrid exercise I smelled. It wasn't the smell of errands to be done or the smell of dinner needing to be figured out. It was magic. And I could smell it thoroughly: there was magic in the air.

I could feel it in my very breath. It moved through my mouth and lungs, shifting through my whole body. It hung on the air with crispness and promise, heavy with potential. Not with time promised for hoop-jumping. But heavy with magic and promise of time of connection.

And when I exhaled, it was the breath of connection to everything around me, a promise that my carbon dioxide would move through the oak tree nearby, just as its released oxygen moved through my body.

I could feel a calling deep within my soul to head for the woods. Ever since a young age, I would hear these "callings". Deep within, this pull to take off for the forest. Like a magnet within my spirit, pulling me towards the creeks, the birds, the trees, the rocks, and the moss. Away from my messy room or my to-do lists. Away from my backpack filled with school work and my chores of childhood. And into the woods. Call it what you want: fairies, nature spirits, Pan, Gaia, elves, god, God, Holy Spirit, Great Spirit, Allah, pent up energy, stress-relief, instinct, or some deeply buried basic human need. Regardless of what language I call it, the message remains the same: I must get to the forest.

I must smell moss.

I must hear the crunch of leaves under my feet.

I must refill. I must be in awe.

I must feel connection.

And this has always been an important piece of my existence; it keeps me in check. It keeps me connected. It keeps me grounded and healed and sane and balanced and "okay" and healthy and happy and peaceful.

And so off I went into the forest. Down the path. Past these mossy rocks. Slipping and sliding down the hill on the fresh fallen beech leaves. I smelled the earth. I moved through the forest and heard the crunching of leaves. I heard birds fluttering and flitting through the trees. I moved past the gully, past the old fence, down the trail deeper into the woods. I stopped short, listening to the sound on the breeze, which turned out to be the very sound of the breeze itself. I heard dry leaves rustling and falling. I saw three turkey rustle about, jumping and flying, fleeing deeper into the woods. I passed the fallen tree, bushwhacking around it, going down to the creek and looking up at the side of the mountain in front of me. I continued on, passing giant twisting vines and gnarled trees with holes in the bark. I passed little holes at the base of trees (that my youngest child calls "Fairy Houses").

I came to the giant field of kudzu, long shriveled and brittle from the first frost of the season. I saw a buck jump through the underbrush, disappearing over the hill, with two more deer following. I felt the connection and energy of the trees behind me as I faced the field. I heard a herd of hogs running and jumping and squealing across the field. I walked through the kudzu and jumped the rocks over the creek. I dug my fingers into the soil as I climbed on all fours, grabbing onto roots and stems, smelling moss and dirt, pulling myself up the side of the mountain, to a small, shallow cave with a small waterfall at the opening. I stood in it, looking out at the view for a bit, noticing the hog prints in the mud of the cave. I climbed down and walked along the field of kudzu, to the other side, where I saw another small shallow cave and more evidence of wildlife. I heard the creek of a tree swaying in the wind. I turned around, going back up the mountain, climbing through briars, catching myself in a cage of green briar. I climbed on all fours through a hole in it, and walked through a arch of branches from a fallen tree. I walked back along the creek, hearing it trickle and drip, hearing it move softly on its journey, its cold water rushing and swirling with autumn leaves. I got an old turtle shell stuck to my shoe, and found old bottles in an old ditch. I climbed over barbed wire, and pushed through small trees, making my way back to the path, and ultimately, back to my house.

And as I walked towards my doorstep, I knew that it would be a magical day.


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