Some people blow out candles and wish.

Some people close their eyes and pray.

Some people cross their fingers and hope.

I watch everywhere, all the time, for three things.

They rise up before me–these tiny miracles–tucked into ordinary settings. Had I been looking the other way, I would have missed them. But I wasn’t. Nothing about that seems random to me.

I deem it necessary.

Otherwise, surrounded as we currently are with wildfires, hurricanes, a pandemic, and volatile politics, anyone could surrender to hopelessness.

I believe in surprising signs. When everything is dark, it’s easy to look past them. The challenge is to see them, to stay alert for wonder.

One evening Maggie and I walked the dog across the town square. Everything seemed the same. Green grass. Red brick gazebo. Wrought iron benches. Except for a burst of yellow. A giant moth rested on a tree trunk. No one else noticed it, but we stopped. Even the dog stood amazed. Naturalists could explain our seasonal discovery, but I only cared about the unexpected, golden brilliance on wood.

As I clipped dying leaves in the garden, I discovered a large spider. We both stopped moving. Normally I’d be afraid. Not that day. She’d spun a web and laid her eggs in my day lilies. Who wouldn’t want their babies to awaken among burgundy petals? (I did, however, consult our neighbors to make sure she wouldn’t hatch poisonous children. Rob asked for a description, researched her, and gave the all-clear sign. Beth hoped for a “Charlotte” message. Maggie assured me that she was a spider who offered good deeds.) Unlike E.B. White’s Charlotte, she did not weave a remark, but her hopeful, motherly presence, inches beside my face, was comment enough.

I try to walk each morning, knowing I’ll feel guilty all day if I don’t get exercise marked off my list. I headed north, wishing I were already finished, when I stopped. A perfect peacock feather, a glistening exclamation point, marked what could have been an ordinary day. Sometimes I forget that a peacock mysteriously found his way to our Midwestern village, bordered by forests and farm fields. Inexplicably, he appeared, unconcerned about providing answers. He typically sleeps in the enormous tree I passed, and last night, during his adventurous bright blue dreams, a feather floated down.

For me.

Beware magical thinking, some would say. I understand.

But I live to be amazed by three good things.

Stay alert for what WOWS you. I promise it’s out there.

10 thoughts on “Three Good Things

  1. How beautiful is this, Karen? Little things leaving a huge impression on you. Little things that make you stop and pay attention to your surroundings.
    I sure get it.


  2. This was lovely! I love the peacock feather floating down, as if while he was taking flight in one of his dreams. And I think I would like your neighbor, Beth. I am a firm believer in magical thinking. I look for signs everywhere. And sometimes, even if I only imagine them, that’s ok with me. You brief but eloquent glimpses into your life in your new town are treasures. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I certainly appreciate your response. When I think of the people who said we’d regret moving here, I have to smile. It’s been wonderful to slow down. We’re surrounded by fields and woods. Beth watched a doe and her twins eat apples under the moon. Of course we do have issues here, yet the sweetness rises quickly to the surface. (You know I admire your own writing.)


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