“Do you believe in magic?” asked the clown.
“No!” yelled the audience.
“Yes!” yelled the audience.
“Well watch this!” screeched the clown.
The trouble is, I was that clown and I was also the crowd shouting “NO!!”
Confused? Well join the club. One part of me, the tiny voice of the child within, wants to believe magic awaits our bidding, but the more dominant creature inhabiting my skull railles against any such notion. The world is definable, surely?
How then does this rational part of my mind account for the magical summer we have just had? How do you account for the utter kindness which we were showered with from start to finish and which still continues?
Who would have thought that right now I would be writing from a warm and comfortable house looking over hills festooned with luxurious Victorian houses-to-die-for, beyond, Dartmoor extends her ancient folds across the skyline. The owner, a friend from my youth, has let us stay as long as we need to. What utter kindness! What sheer magic! You would have thought that because she was my first ever girl-friend, way back in Kenya, she would be avoiding me like the plague.
Despite her not hustling us at all, we feel we can’t impose on her for more than a short while, so we will move out to rent at reduced rates, another friend’s house until we are able to move in to a magical house we saw a few days ago and which it’s been agreed, we will buy. This past week since arriving from France, this other friend set aside a bedroom and told us not to move on in a hurry. More kindness, aka magic.
And it goes on. Back in France, heading off to camp our way north, we vacated another friend’s studio, generously given over for our use! More proof of magic in the air. But as we packed up a humongous storm hit the rejoin. Offers poured in from people we hardly knew to stay in their abodes! If that ain’t magic, what then is?
And there’s more. Where do I start without boring you? With one example to encompass them a with all. Far and wide I sought a Breton fisherman’s cotton cap (not the yachtsman’s fancy one, but the practical thing). Eventually, the owner of a hat shop sped up into her attic, returning to give me one for free. If you don’t consider that to be magic, then there’s something wrong with you.
And here’s the most amazing magical moment of all. Do forgive me if you read about it in July, but it should do you good to revisit it.
We were picking shards of glass from a beach at the most sought-after end of a sought-after bay in Brittany when a speedboat off-loaded two attractive young women and an elegant older man. I warned them to be careful and we chatted for a couple of minutes before they walked off into the woods. An hour later they returned and offered us their house because they were back off to Paris. Gobsmacked, we reeled as we were shown around the peninsular they owned, being told to use the motorbike, this boat, that, anything we felt like enjoying was ours. Utter kindness. Complete magic. Saintly. To attach more words would be to diminish the shining soul of this stranger who has become a dear friend.
As if it needed to, our long-existing trust in humanity soared. Our hearts burst open and all summer that act of kindness was tinkled by those other ones outlined above and more, and more. If only our leaders could be aware of the kindness which keeps the world spinning, the world would be a better place.
You might decide this is a star-gazing clown’s mad moment, but think about it a little more. Politicians control us. Politicians screw up the facts to suit their own futures, they also twist things to gain as much power as they can, and they listen to those with money, because more than at any time in history, money is power. Now, if kindness could take precedence, dishonesty, meanness and many other traits would slip backwards. As indeed they did when our lives were more locally bound, when local politicians and leaders were controlled by small communities who thence had more power over their own lives.
And such a world begins here, right now, with acts of kindness. OK, the Trumps of this world might be far too insensitive to notice, but gradually, bit by bit, things would shift. And, as our astonishing summer has proven, that really would be magic!