I suppose there is nothing particularly enchanting about this place to the rest of the world. But to me, it’s magical, no imagination required. I live in an apartment complex tucked away behind shopping plazas, down the street from the mall, and across the street from my office. I can drive to Boston, the beach or the mountains in about an hour. And I can walk to the grocery store (where everyone calls carts “carriages” much to my amusement), to Starbucks, and to Barnes & Noble (and the Starbucks in THERE)! I can walk to the end of my road, where “Newcastle Drive” becomes “Adventure Way” at the light.
THAT is where the magic is. In that place between my new castle in New Hampshire (it does look rather like a castle, doesn’t it?!) and adventure! I sense it in the glow the sunset casts on the brick of the Tudor building I call home. A part of me has been here before, in this exact place and time. Deja vu? Reincarnation? No, I believe in neither. It is however how I know I am exactly where I should be this summer. This is where I will turn 40. This is where and when everything shifts.
I sense it in the morning, awakening in a pile of pillows to streams of sunlight and bird song. I soak up the sound. I soak up the moment as I could not do until this summer. For too long I have been a sponge infused with tears and pain and anger over being trapped. Until God dug me out and wrung me out, and set me in the summer sun to dry. And it was lonely. Until, dried out, I had the capacity again to absorb. And now I soak it all in. The mundane. The daily moments that freak me out. All of it! Life is too short not to!
I sense that I will look back on this season and be blown away by all the magic that is happening right under my freckled nose. Magical seeds, planted in the warm July soil, that will someday push their way to the heavens like Jack’s bean stalk. Here and now, something magical is taking root, and in my heart I sense God moving and turning it all around.
I can’t quite put my finger on it. Is it the way everything seems to fall into place when I am convinced that I am out of faith, or when I take a leap of faith? Is it the way the lily pads and dragon flies remind me of passions long forgotten? Is it the way the bull frogs lullaby and a friend’s words revive lost dreams? I still can’t put my finger on it. Yet…
THIS is what I dreamed of at 22, right down to the lily pads and the hours spent writing and the trails I lose myself on and the piano I found in a room attached to the leasing office. That’s not to suggest that being here is a dream come true in the traditional sense. I did not dream of these adventures in New Hampshire as one dreams of crossing a finish line. Those dreams are familiar – You want to accomplish something enough that you can’t stop thinking about it. Eventually, you make the commitment, you put in the hard work, and you chase that dream all the way to a diploma or race medal or promotion or… No, this was less of a desire that gives birth to a goal.
“Awake, dear heart, awake. Thou hast slept well. Awake.” Prospero to Miranda in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.
THIS dream was more like a subconscious vision. A glimpse of something inside me that has always been there. Something you must work hard for, while knowing it can’t be forced. To force it would be sacrilegious, as it possesses a very unforced quality. I sense it in the wind, tickling the trees until their leaves laugh. And I, caught up in the magic, laugh too. This is where and when life calls, and I awake and must GO!
The truth is, the magic isn’t in New Hampshire. It is certainly home base for all my current adventures. I sense that it is also the launching pad for adventures I am not ready to even consider. And I don’t know that I will always live here. My super planner tendencies are waning in the wake of a tumultuous 20 months, giving way to this new approach to life – I don’t plan beyond the next 20 months. I choose instead to be flexible. To be open. To keep my head up and my heart open to the possibilities, while curating the next year or two with an uncompromising commitment to this simple, healthy, impactful, badass life I am cultivating. The pursuit of becoming strong and courageous and resilient and compassionate and open and flexible landed me here in Nashua, NH, so I’m gonna roll with it!
The truth is, the magic isn’t in New Hampshire. It isn’t in a place or a job or a building. It is in the becoming of who God made us to be. And indeed we often have to be in a place that speaks to us, in a season when we are ready to hear, to embrace that identity and destiny!
THAT is where the magic is. In that place between our front door and the adventure that awaits.