Sitting outdoors, I felt the evening peace like a sweet caress settle o’re the land and sea. I do not know from whence he came – not a rustle or breeze did he create – but like the evening mist, he suddenly appeared and perched himself on the corner of my deck’s rail. Mottled brown and white with deep black eyes, he bobbed his head from side to side. I smiled. He blinked. And time stood still. At long last he opened his wings and majestically flew off toward the jeweled sky. My one and only visit with our barred owl.
There’s a barred owl couple that lives in one of our nearby groves. Hubby and I can hear their baritone hoots at dusk when they come out on balmy summer nights to hunt and play. As for my one and only visit with an owl, that is a true story. It happened a few years ago. I’d never seen such a large bird up close and for a city girl like me, it was simply a thrill, a magical moment of mutual curiosity.
According to the London Dictionary of Contemporary English, magical moments are “short times which seem beautiful and special”. I like this definition because it attempts to described in words something ephemeral that we experience through our emotions. These are moments of soulful connections with pure love, heartfelt joy or genuine wonder.
In 2018, Closer, a British tabloid magazine published the poll results of 2,000 adults listing the top 20 magical moments in life. Their list included milestones like: the day of your wedding, the birth of your child, buying your first home, falling in love, landing your first job, and hearing your child’s first word.
I recently read another article where the writer suggested that more often than not, these moments exist because we choose to create them. We may well attempt to orchestrate events and sometimes they work out. In my experience, however, magical moments cannot be willed, but rather they arise unexpectedly like my barred owl’s visit, and often in the most unlikely of places.
I remember sitting side-by-side with my father-in-law in an examination room after his radiation treatment. The doctor was delayed, so we were chatting quietly and our conversation was quite ordinary to an outsider. We were relaxed and somewhere along the way I felt a deeper connection with Dad. Next morning when I was driving him to another treatment session, he divulged that he’d really enjoyed our time together the day before. It had been special and I concurred.
And then there are times when a piece of music will sweep me away and cause tingles to run up and down my spine. Or there are mystical moments in nature when my breath is taken away by the sheer beauty that surrounds me.
Those are times when I let go of my worldly concerns. I stop thinking and instead I let myself just be, wholly present, my heart fully open to soulfully connect with the magic of the moment.