Always Believe in the Magic

When I was in my teens, we lived in a village in southern Germany not far from the Rhine River.

On Sundays, my father and I would take Bijou, our black standard poodle, for a walk along the eastern bank that lined the river and soak in the beauty of life all around us.

Barges floated slowly along the waterway laden (I liked to imagine) with tea from China and silks from India and spaces from mysterious far off lands.

Sometimes, I’d see someone on the deck of a barge and I’d wave and they’d wave back.

Sometimes, a small pleasure craft would float past and I’d watch the people gathered on its deck laughing and eating and drinking beer and I’d wonder, “Where did they come from? Where are they going?”

And I’d make up stories about their lives and tell my father and he would harrumph and say, in his gruff, matter-of-fact way, “They’re just out for a Sunday cruise.”

And then, he’d stop and point out a ball of mistletoe growing high up in the bare limbs of a tree and quote a line of poetry that made my senses tingle with the delight of the words. Or he’d bend down and show me the beauty of a fallen leaf lying on our path and he’d tell me to always look for beauty. Always. And I’d know, like me, he believed in the magic.

Those days of walking the banks of the Rhine, of watching barges float by and stopping at a Gasthaus on the way home for a lunch of Weinerschnitzel and frites and hearing my father laugh and call out “Prosit!” to a stranger at the next table have drifted lazily into the past like the mists floating along the river this morning.

Yet, on mornings like this, when fog envelops the river and the trees stand barren and tall along its banks, I remember those days and say a quiet prayer of gratitude to my father.

He was a mysterious figure to me. A man of mercurial moods and sudden tempers that could blow in as fast as a summer storm.

He held many secrets. Yet, some days, walking along the riverbanks, a tiny fragment of his story would reveal itself in his words and I would feel like I was bathing in a ray of sunshine streaking through the clouds that hid the blue sky above.

It was in those moments I knew magic was everywhere because my father believed in magic. He believed in pots of gold at the end of every rainbow and genies sleeping in brass teapots waiting to be awakened just by the right touch and a whispered incantation of a magical word.

He believed I could do anything if I set my mind to it.

He believed in me.


14 thoughts on “Always Believe in the Magic

  1. LG,

    Nice to see your stream of thought in your writing again lately – more to my taste than arts/crafts lessons – so in that respect, welcome back. Your piece ends however without telling the tale of what you are setting your mind to. You’ve set the stage – please tell us the rest of the story …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The magic of life, your Father clearly understood it and lived it. Thanks for steering our minds back to the magic of life that COVID-19 has so cruelly wrenched from our lives, temporarily. Have Faith, this too shall pass.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, he did Iwona. And yes, we must keep the faith and now that this too shall pass. Hopefully sooner rather than later… and then I remember, I am not in charge of time, nor covid. It will be what it will be. All I can do is create a space where we stay healthy and strong and joyful and loving. ❤


    • Reminds me of:

      “my father had exposed me to other possibilities. That’s what fatherhood was to him: His job was to serve as a tour guide to the marvels of human existence. He decided that I was going to be a doctor like him, and he began grooming me for his particular brand of success. He played me soaring classical music and gave me books that were far beyond my reach. I remember he handed me a George Gamow book called ‘One, Two, Three…Infinity’ . I read it, as instructed. It made zero sense to me.”

      The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir” by Sara Seager

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you David. And that quote from The Smallest Lights… Beautiful — my father used to hand me books to read too. I read as instructed. And yup — some made zero sense to me. My father wanted me to be a pharmacist. That made zero sense to me too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish I were a person who paid attention. I feel like I have spent my life flitting from here to there, taking in almost nothing. I feel bereft at times.
    I can’t help but wonder what has made me live life so in the present that I remember nothing after that moment is gone.
    Wonderful post, Louise.


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