My pens fall to the ground, scattered like a herd of a gazelle leaping end over end away from my person, vivacious and seeking escape the moment seems to last an eternity, as possibilities become endless for their prison break.
The sidewalk beneath me stretches like the plains of the Serengeti and my hands like searching lions and birds of pray attempt to catch the escaped utensils with alacrity and swiftness. Like predators my hands deftly begin to collect and my eyes to spy several escapees.
Suddenly the embarrassment catches up to me and my alacrity becomes that of a drunken penguin attempting to repair a pocket watch. My hands slipping and chaos entering my little world, a voice shouts from an open window overhead, “Don’t come back till you get that story finished! Or Else!”
A woman comes walking down the street oblivious to my hunting game upon the sidewalk and conversing on her phone she is a million miles into the air, stretched high above the clouds, but all it takes is a single toe upon my plain of reality and she flings one of the pens behind her, rocketing away from her like mortar fire, falling forward her face does not even have time to react, but passing quickly from my task of collection into a catcher, i throw my pens to the wind and throw myself flat upon the pavement like sliding to a base at the last second in baseball.
Safe! I hear an umpire shout in the background and fireworks begin to erupt into the sky celebrating my glorious catch. Suddenly I feel like an embarrassed hero, gloriously celebrated by the universe herself, until the feel of scalding hot coffee catches up with my ankles.
A ringing phone does nothing to quell the pain that burns like Achilles, I am on fire and my greatest weakness is below the belt. Falling back to reality, the pain begins to subside, but i just lay there, paralyzed.
Slowly rising to the occasion after her, i bump my aching head into her chin, not enough to hurt of course, but my ankles still feel the bite of Paris’ Arrow in liquid form, corporate coffee pouring disdain upon my seeker’s game. She rises dodging me, and she giggles a bit, bright eyes smiling at me, laughing almost out loud.
She looks at me and reaches down, “Are you ok?”
“Yes, Fine now thanks. Are you ok? I’m sorry for the mess. It’s just…my pens. I’m sorry. ”
She smiles at me giggling a bit. “Do you believe in magic?”
What an odd question. She stares at me a moment while I’m dumbfounded and then shrugs, helping me pick up my pens and other scattered items.
She helps me gather my pens from the Serengeti plain that is this wild sidewalk. Returning to me with a hand full of pens and my storage box, she helps me organize them on a nearby bench. The sun hovers overhead in the early morning, and I feel like a hero, like a child, like this woman is my mother reincarnate. She helps me organize my pens.
She grabs the box, now tidy again, no prison break escapees are missing, no conspirators are undiscovered, all present and accounted for. She puts the box into her sidebag, and my mind begins to panic. She must see the apprehension on my face and soothes my fears, saying “Don’t worry, I’ll help you carry them.”
I take a breath.
“You never answered my question…Do you believe in magic?” She pauses a brief moment, her eyes touch mine, she smiles a moment longer then turns away. I follow her into the coffee shop three stores down from the site of our collision.
Do I believe in Magic?
She quickly pauses to grab two cups of coffee, my ungloved hands reach for hers and gladly accept the warm brew. I take a sip of liquid magic, and smile at her nervously. She puts her coffee on the counter and removes her gloves. She stows the gloves away in her sidebag with my almost forgotten pens and takes up the coffee and crosses the threshold into the morning flood upon the untamed streets.
Walking out into the rising sun she reaches for my ungloved hand and smiles. “Come with me,” she whispers, as we walk out among the throngs of people, holding her hand tightly, I am enamored, held in a trance and silent, mesmerized by the contact. Warm blood pulsing through her hand, meeting warm blood pulsing beneath my skin, we are dragonflies, we are birds riding on the thermals in the morning sun.
She leads me through this city like a dreamscape, i feel like falling as I watch myself drift through the throngs of passing bystanders that become an after effect of sunrise, like liquid from the sun. Everything begins to look like an oil painting on fast forward, people seem to fall before us from the sky like drops of living rain on the landscape of our hand in hand reality. Colors begin to blend together and the sky collides with the fountain in the park, collides with the leaves passing across our path like colors on a discarded pallette.
We walk along a path forgotten by time, approaching the river, lush green leaves poke at us, caressing our skin. These leaves are reminding us of the wild life within all humans, that spark of endless reverie that humanity feels when at one with nature. We drift through the green, feeling the musk of ancient earth, where gods still tread and the animals still talk. The wooded path tingles with the feel of magic, and i can almost hear the faint sound of wind instruments. Then comes a soothing whisper passing over my consciousness, in me, around me, through me. Water, summons us to greet her at the border of her domain, inviting us with soft words poured over the stones that greet her path.
Standing there at water’s edge we grasp a stone, she looses my hand to take up the children of the earth into her hands, and skip them along water’s surface inscribing a secret message into the passing river with morse code and knocks at water’s window. I take a stone in my hand, and casting it as payment to the river it skips along writing in a language forgotten to all but the earth, and by herself she swears to interpret the taps of love pitter pattering across her surface.
The children of the earth inscribe their final line into the water as a rock leaves her hand. She turns and approaches me and then moves to sit at the roots of the great tree. Taking a deep inhale of the thickness of the air and the magic of the moment it becomes a photograph shared between us in mind and heart. It’s edges permeating the unified consciousness that began with the prison break of a herd of pens.
The morning passes as we sit in the still cool stillness, listening to the water as she passes, leaving her whispers over the stones. We are smiling and trading stories like shared breath, moments passing between us like oxygen and suddenly I am alive. I believe in magic and its name is Emily.
She reaches into her sidebag of wonders at the foot of the great tree, and pulls out a small leather bound kit of crafts, and with scissors and paper, she lets me watch as she constructs. I simply smile and rest under the canopy of leaves that serves us shelter, like Adam and Eve. She delicately assembles the pieces together, making delicate folds, and gingerly makes the first, setting it in the ground upright. It rotates in the wind like dreams, like Don Quixote’s never ending battle, it’s a little reminder of actual magic. The pinwheel seems to float daintily upon the wind, matching her pace with the speech of water over the stones.
She makes a second pinwheel and writes my name on the staff that gives way to the windflower. She respectfully removes the tender soil from the earth, moving it just off to the side, communicating with the earth in the whispers coming off her fingernails, she outlines her intentions and permission is granted. This place shall hold our pinwheels.
I help her make a small shrine into the earth, where we shall unite our windflowers together, and let them rest by water’s edge, forever to catch the sun and speak whispers translated to the great tree. Setting the windflowers in place, we unite hands once again.
And now, now I believe in magic.