Oh, dear friends. One imagines magical journeys. To Tahiti. To the Caribbean. To Singapore. To the Himalayas.
Yet, truly, is it possible to take a magical journey to some place simple, some place accessible, some place close to home?
That is my question, constantly. How can we discover the magic in our backyard? In our front yard? In a simple trip to the mailbox?
Let us set the scene of this particular day first. The sky is gray. It’s always gray. It’s been gray since Christmas, I swear, although you could convince me otherwise if you try. (This is why solar energy will not work very well here in the Upper Peninsula.)
Freezing ice pellets spit upon the earth since last night, punctuated by snow showers. My husband scraped his car for ten minutes before work, digging off an eighth of an inch of ice. If one, heaven forbid, wears glasses…all one glimpses is wet and mist and fog and patterned droplets.
The Mind begins its usual litany: There’s nothing to see outside. You will find nothing to photograph. Don’t even bring the camera.
Silly mind! The silly mind didn’t anticipate the clothes dryer vent blowing steam out into the landscape, through the dried oregano plants. The silly mind didn’t anticipate frozen spruce branches.
For those of you who dwell in rural lands, you know the importance of mailbox walks, don’t you? Before the days when email and Facebook and Twitter and blogging took over our lives, what did we do every day, rain or shine?
Walk with anticipation to the mailbox, our spirits hoping for that handwritten letter from family or friend! With hope we walked, our steps lilting, our steps wondering what treasures the mailbox might hold. We thought of the mailman like Santa, like a letter-guru. He or she had the power to give us…news from outside our rural homes, our houses along dirt roads, our habitations in woods and field.
Today I lingered along the driveway, snapping 200 photos. Well, maybe thirty, to be more exact. Bragging back to the Know-it-all Mind: “Ha, ha! You were wrong once again! Look at this magical world!”
Upon reaching the mailbox I discovered letters already sitting patiently inside the box. That meant the mailman had already come and gone. Sigh. I placed the pile of to-be-mailed envelopes in the box, stuck up the flag, and started back toward the house.
When–suddenly–unexpectedly!–up the road flew the mailman in his jeep. He passed our house (since he had already stopped to deliver the mail) when he spotted the upturned flag. And he slowly, kindly, miraculously, backed up his jeep to pick up the late mail.
That’s what it means to live in the country. People still care enough to back up and get your mail.
What a magical journey! First, miracles of nature. Then, miracles of humanity.
On the way back to the house, humming softly, I paused by the heavily iced car to sketch a message for you blog readers:
Hope you all experience magical journeys to your mailboxes, wherever they may be.