Flashback: An Invitation to Look Again …


Just over a year ago, I posted this little story.  I stumbled across it again yesterday, and it still feels thick with magic, mystery, and fearless everyday wonder.

Enjoy, friends …

This is how it happens: I am out shopping, late Sunday afternoon, when I see on the shelves a little oval mirror that hangs from a black satin ribbon.

It’s a small mirror – small enough that I can hold it in one hand – but the edges are beautifully beveled so that it bounces light in a lean lovely hoop. I buy the mirror, knowing, even as I do so, that it isn’t for me.  

I’m not sure who it’s for, or what it means, but I know it means something.


I have books to return to the library, so as the sun is setting I drive over to South County to drop them off.  And it would be easy, on this chilly afternoon, to just pull the car up to the drop box, but something tells me not to.

Instead, I drive across the street.  Park at the elementary school, planning to take the walking trail through the marsh. I love that this county decided to build a raised wooden walkway through the marsh and to the library, since it’s a literal bridge between the children and the books.  It’s also beautiful, the way the walkway curves over the low water, meandering like a stream:


But when I get to the beginning of the walkway I don’t take it. I don’t take it because, at that exact moment, the sun dips toward the horizon and catches along a very narrow path that runs away from the walking trail, skirting the edge of the marsh: 


Can you see it?  It’s so unassuming that you might mistake it for the long narrow shadow of a tree.

It’s so narrow — so seemingly spontaneous — that I almost wonder whether it’s a human trail at all, or a path made by something smaller and more fleet-footed.  Still — I follow it anyway, trailing the light. I follow it farther, and farther, into a little glade where the sun glistens in the branches of what might be wild apple trees, or maybe pears.

And can I tell you a secret — the kind that makes my heart leap?  There are buds on all these branches, velvet-soft and silver-gray. I stroke the promise of them with one fingertip and feel the hope of spring flooding my soul. 

This place is magic, I think. It just needed someone to take the time to notice it. 



The mirror is still with me then, heavy in my handbag.  I take it out and hold it in one hand so that it gleams back flashes of branches, buds, sun, sky — all the magic of this place framed in a tiny oval.

I lift the mirror to my face and look — really look.   Sometimes, seeing my own magic is just a matter of time.

And it just so happens that I have a dry-erase marker with me, too, so I pull it out. Uncap it. Scribble a message on the glass. Then I tie that black ribbon securely onto one of those new-budded branches, at a height where someone about my size could look straight in and see just themselves. Where they might take my invitation seriously, in this special place.

I stand looking.

I snap a picture.

I take a breath, then walk away… 

marsh4 ❤


  1. What impresses me the most about this story is your fearlessness. I don’t know if I would be so brave to follow my instincts in that way, or if I would even *feel* instincts like that if I was out on a mission of running weekend errands. You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, thank you for that. Comes with the ENFP territory, I guess. 🙂

      I’m insanely intuitive, sometimes a little bit obnoxiously so, and it can get me into trouble. Over the years, I’ve actually learned to be *less* intuitive, in certain ways, and to rely a little more on my (capable) sense of reasoning and data-gathering, too. I think those two approaches are both so very needed, and I try to appreciate both of them and allow them to work against each other to meet the same goals, like opposing muscles. If that makes sense.

      It’s such a nice reminder, though, to hear that my intuitive approach can speak to others (rather than just drive them crazy, ha!) and can lend a little magic to the world.

      Thank you for reading, for encouraging me, and for always giving me some good thoughts to ponder through. It’s so helpful and healthy. Appreciate you!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was scrolling through my comments this morning and I don’t know how I missed this one when you first wrote it. I’m so sorry! Wanted to wait until I had a proper moment to write back. You have such remarkable insight into yourself. I love the way you speak of the balancing tension in which you try to hold your intuition. I try to do the same thing with my over-analyzing mind… Sometimes more or less successfully than others. My mom used to always say, “It takes all types…” to make things work… To make the world remarkable, to make life beautiful, to build each other up. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Miriam! I love re-finding old things and enjoying them anew. I do a lot of that this time of year: clean out all my closets, give away a lot of things I no longer need or want, and put to use my rediscoveries. 🙂

      Always appreciate seeing you here. How are you? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, how often I forget to see myself as magical and beautiful. I get so caught up in seeing myself as “just” and not looking for the magical things that make me not “just,” if that makes sense. Thanks for the beautiful, well-written reminder! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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