In 1965 the group The Lovin’ Spoonful released the song Do You Believe in Magic. It’s been covered by several and used frequently in movies, etc. for almost 50 years! I think that’s remarkable and certainly noteworthy. The reason I mention that is the fact that magic has quite a legacy! Matt and I have always had a date night. It was a way to focus on each other and share the events of the week. Sometimes it was a movie or dinner or some other special event. Now it’s an afternoon tea. Since the stroke, I have a difficult time with crowds and noise. Isn’t that brilliant? The ‘magic’ is not that we do a weekly chai but rather that after 20 years of marriage, raising the boys, surviving a stroke, taking on the role of caregiver and a new job among other fun things, we have found a new way to define ‘date’. I’m going to use both the words magic and miracles in this post. A long time ago, Matt and I went to an awesome place on Whidbey Island (by Seattle, WA) called The Inn at Langley. We ate at their restaurant where the chef prepared the meal in front of us and everything used was from the island! I consider that magic and yet I’m sure the chef sees it as mundane and something that he does regularly. I think that’s the part of magic that is astonishing. It could be somebody’s mundane! (Like salmon swimming upstream! Does anyone else find that astonishing?)
You heard me say or read that I use the word ‘renewal’ rather than ‘recovery’. A song I love is Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight. I think it is a great example of the concept of renewal (and I love the name the Pips). For me, there is no Georgia but the miracle is that I can still take that midnight train somewhere. Consider me going to a time when the San Francisco Giants win the World Series (baseball), Stanford University wins the Rose Bowl (football) and the San Francisco 49ers go to the Super Bowl (football). It’s unlikely but that’s the thing … it can happen. It’s magic!
On the weekends, I drink Jasmine tea. Because I can smell it, that makes it special. It engages the additional sense of smell along with taste. I consider that a miracle! I also had Jasmine Tea in China, so I have a great memory when I drink it. I can recall all the events. Why don’t I drink it every day or all the time? I want to keep it special and keep the magic present.
This is one of my ‘shoulds’. I believe all stroke survivors should consider themselves miracles. I consider myself a miracle. This is magic. On my walker, I have an ‘I believe’ bell. (From the book The Polar Express.) I can hear it all the time and as they remind us in the story, the spirit of the holiday lies in our heart. I usually do my holiday decorating right after the Thanksgiving holiday in November. This year (2013), Thanksgiving falls on the first day of Hanukkah. We are used to it falling around the holidays in December. I think that’s a miracle and it gives me a legit reason to put up my holiday things right after Thanksgiving. This whole concept is magic to me!
Last month I turned 58 on a Saturday. We had several people over as well as a magician (Jay Alexander). Mark Twain said “Age is a matter of the mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Isn’t that great? What was interesting to me (the magician was fabulous) was seeing 80 year olds act like 8 year olds. That makes me think even more about how magic is timeless. We still don’t know how he did those things! That’s what I see in common between stroke renewal and magic — it’s timeless. (That and we really don’t mind how it occurs!) We all want to be amazed!