Mundane Magic- A Home Sweet Om Chronicle
I woke up in 2018 with a word standing at the edge of my bed, staring me in the face.
“Get up!” it said, hands on hips.
“Ugh. Juniper was up every hour last night, go away. I don’t want any words this morning. Unless you brought me coffee. Did you bring me coffee?”
The word frowned and sat on my bedside table, where my coffee should be.
“UP!” It repeated.
“Fine. But before I hear what you have to say, I am getting coffee.”
When I returned, the word had gone, leaving only a thin film of sparkly air that I would have to clean up. But I was awake and caffeinated, so I wrote that one word down (it left me nothing else to write… rude!):
Now, it’s not so odd that I would have been visited by magic. For these reasons, mainly:
- I have been enamored by all things magical since I was small enough to be unable to pronounce the word. Fairies, gnomes, rainbows, unicorns, you name it. I’ve arguably spent all my life trying to find some of this enchantment in the mundane world.
- I once wrote an article about the magic of being on trail in the wilderness with teenagers, and every so often someone reminds me of how influential it was for them. (Kelly: you especially!)
- I am reading the book “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert at the moment, and there are some parts of it that I’m really digging.
- As a 75% atheist and a critical thinker, I have banished much of the magic from my life, but desperately still need it and want it around. Hence the other 25%, which I’m still figuring out. At least 10% is Buddhist. 5% still believes in Narnia. Maybe I even have some Wiccan in me from my teenage years. So roughly 7% is left for whimsy, I reckon.
- Yoga has been a force for beauty in my life for years, but lately it’s become disenchanted. I feel like Dorothy, pulling back the curtain, and finding that the all powerful Oz is just some little white dude with a complex. I’m still not ready to write about my increasingly complex relationship to yoga, but I think I’m going to start by returning to the magic of it.
- There’s a lot of parenthood that is decidedly not magical (snot, being bitten, diaper changes, sleep deprivation, more snot, toothbrushing battles), but there is so much that is.
I’m willing to put forward that WE ALL NEED MAGIC in our lives. And I’m not talking about the rabbit-in-a-hat kind. To me, magic is the ability to become enchanted by the world around us. Magic is when…
- We allow ourselves to be swept away by the magical within the mundane
- We transform our world just by looking deeply
- We see the potential that hides in the shadows- in ourselves, in others, in situations
The world is a place of so much hurt and sadness… it’s a place that it’s hard to find beauty in at time… but I wager that finding magic is an essential ingredient to healing ourselves and the world around us.
I’d love it if you’d join me for (give or take) a month of magic. As often as I can, I’ll be blogging bits of fairy dust, putting forth potions to make you fall in love with something you’ve overlooked, casting spells that reveal transformations for everyday life, contorting the modern world to bend it towards justice, and mixing pixie dust that has no purpose other than making the mundane world around you shine.
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I am in LOVE with winter… so much so that Eric and I got married outside on New Years eve day. I think one reason I love it so much is that winter makes the world adapt in the most creative ways. For example, many small mammals such as voles or mice become subnivean in the winter. This is a fancy word for animals that live under the snowpack; the subnivean zone is the space between the ground and the layar of snow above it. This space ranges from 5-10” and can reach up to 32 degrees, even in frigid winter! Neat family activity: if you place a container of water in the subnivean zone in the morning, it will remain unfrozen in the evening, even in -20 weather. These small animals create whole lives in an area most of us are not even aware of; they magically transform something seemingly uninhabitable into their playground.
With proper clothing, a hot bevvie, and a subnivean mentality, I have come to adore this season that others see as inhospitable. In fact, my feet get itchy when the temperature plummets and the ground is covered in a thick white blanket.
Sometimes what seems unbearable at first can be a place we learn to live and love; I moved to Calgary 8 years ago for a relationship that ended suddenly after being here for three days. I knew NO ONE else, I was heartbroken, had an unbreakable 6 month lease on my tiny apartment, and it was -35 outside. I honestly thought I would just freeze in my basement apartment and no one would ever find my icicle body. But somehow I woke up every day, I took up meditation, I cried more than I thought possible, put up fairy lights around my bed, and eventually I healed. While that heartbreak SUCKED, I learned to create beauty where I was pretty sure only ugliness and self-hatred lived. I was subnivean.
YOUR MAGICAL TASK:
Spend time outside with this question in your head: “What can winter teach me?”
A RECIPE FOR MAGIC: FAIRY MILK
This time, the “recipe” section is a literal recipe- sometimes it will be a figurative recipe. If you need to warm yourself on this winter day, here’s how to make a Narnia-like beverage that provides a nice alternative to hot chocolate for the littles, and warms the hearts of big kids too:
3 mint tea bags
1 cup milk of choice
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs maple syrup, or to taste
½ tsp cinnamon
Boil water and tea on the stove for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, warm, and serve. And YES you can absolutely experiment with different teas! Apple cinnamon is a recent favourite, but I’ve liked camomile as well. This is a great treat on coming in after being out for your magical task.