Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Magician

"No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful?"
-Annie Dillard

I wonder if I met a magician this afternoon.
I was on a bus excursion, and a youngster of six years or thereabouts sat behind me- one must, of course, correlate climbing, leaning and squirming with a child's version of sitting.
She enthused to her mother about the virtues of bicycles, sheep-shaped clouds and sesame seeds, the latter being a new discovery.
"What are sesame seeds?" she asked warily as her mother produced some curious looking crackers; and shortly afterward the little girl proclaimed sesame seeds to be her favourite seed in the whole world, even better than apple seeds.
I was thoroughly appreciating, in what I hoped was a suitably subtle manner, the litany of lovely things.
"Mommy, I don't like it when you do magic. Magic can go out of control."
I very nearly spun around in my seat to see what I could see, but I succeeded in maintaining my composure at the strange and sudden curve in the conversation.
Was the lady by profession a magician, with a ready supply of rabbits and black hats and white doves?
There again, perhaps the lively child meant only to suggest that her mother must be a person of endless wonders to have knowledge of such things as sesame seed crackers.


paulmerrill said...

Aaah, the joys of youth. It's sad that we lose that wonder as we get older. (At least, I'm speaking for myself...)

Pappy said...

You can never know what a child means. Their world is so concrete. Parents can say things to explain the unexplainable and be believed without question. On the downside the little ones can speak the truth about things spinning out of control and unless one is privy to what goes on behind the green door they can never know the true meaning. I hope it was good. Pappy

Beth said...

I love that. I think children do believe that their mothers can do magic and see with eyes in the back of their head.

Pappy said...

Hi "The" and Spouse. I have given you a blog award today. You can come by Pappy's and pick it up. Thanks for all your wonderful writing. Pappy

Lanny said...

Just like the invisible arm that a mother sprouts upon the birth of a child, each birth sprouting yet another arm, every mother becomes a magician. And if she is lucky she never loses her vocation because the birth of her grandchildren keep her in the union, and can in fact propel her status up the ladder to "superior magician".

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Paul, it's true that it gets lost somewhere along the way. It's increasingly difficult to hang onto the wonder of childhood. But, we try!

Texican, I like to think it was good. I hope so. It was such a fleeting comment, but it must have meant something important to her at that precise moment.

Beth, I always love your perceptive mother-child comments. Eyes in the back of their heads, indeed. I'm sure most children think their parents work miracles. Something as simple as a sesame seed cracker was special to that little girl.

Texican, thank you! My award shelf is quite sagging now. I'll have to get Spouse to build some more shelves. There's nothing like a great compliment to boost one's week!

Lanny, I like your notion of "superior magician", as it's so very true. It never does end for a mother.

Reasons said...

Well done for keeping your composure, I'd have been tempted to turn around and see if she had a long, pointy hat!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Hi Cheerful,
indeed ;) perhaps then it's a good thing I didn't look behind- I'd have probably jumped off the bus if she had been wearing a hat like that.

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