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A Call to Magic Sharing

I live in a safe place. No one is shooting at me. There are no bombs exploding in my neighborhood.  I do not need to flee anywhere for my or my family's safety. This stirs deep gratitude in me and no small amount of guilt. I think it is similar to survivor's guilt, though less intense. I am, in a word, fortunate. I like Joan Baez's cover of a song by Peter, Paul, and Mary. The proverbial saying is, "There but for the grace of God, go you or I." The song changes it to "There but for fortune..." I don't believe the grace of God is unequal toward humanity. I do believe that good fortune is.

I am fortunate, which means I have a different kind of responsibility toward life from those who have the misfortune of having to fight to survive under terrible and unjust conditions. I have the responsibility to find what is special and share it, simply because I can,  a duty, if you will, to share joy and wonder, because I can. It sounds like lightweight work, I know, but if all of us who are fortunate enough to live in a safe place and have more than enough to eat and pay our bills were to commit to being responsible to share joy, might we not make some significant difference to all? If that doesn't work for the channels in your mind, try this: Would it not be a crime to be this fortunate and not notice the magical, the beautiful, that which cannot be repeated, be it sunset, rose blossom or the words that tumble from a toddler's innocent lips? So... lately... I have noticed mushrooms....and dragonflies.

My mother told me when I was not yet in kindergarten that fairies hold their dances beneath the shelter of the mushroom tops. I believed her. Nothing in my adulthood has been able to completely undo that belief. When mushrooms appear in great number during a drought, as they are doing in my neighborhood, I can't help but feel that they are magical, a surprise not to be missed. I was saddened to see a neighbor mow down the multitude of mushrooms that had sprung up in his yard last night. I had not seen such a crop in years. He got to them before I could get to them with my camera. Yet I found some tiny temples most worthy of fairy gatherings.

Dragonflies began appearing in the oddest places and at the oddest times shortly after my father died. I met a woman at a bank who was wearing a dragonfly necklace. She wore it because the same thing occurred to her when her grandfather left this plane. She would walk into her grandfather's woodworking shop and find dragonflies there.

Last year on September 15, I photographed a dragonfly in the woods in Minnesota. The photo later won an honorable mention in a local nature photography contest. I'd never seen a dragonfly like this one. A year to the day after I took that photo, a dragonfly of the same species floated into my son's yard and landed on his hand, staying there long enough to have its photo taken. Exactly one year later.

Mushrooms in a drought. Dragonflies appearing with exquisite, inexplicable timing. These are small things, but joyful and hopeful ones. Those of us who lead fortunate lives are called to notice them, to acknowledge them as the quiet miracles that they are, and share them. They speak to a life of creation and not of man-made, misguided violence. Not to notice them would be amiss and a misfortune. Sharing them just might send a ray of hope somewhere that it needs to be sent. We are called to do this. That is what I believe.


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Images and Text, Copyright Ysabel de la Rosa, All rights reserved.

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