May’s long hair fell in a net of tangles to the middle of her back. It looked rarely brushed. I imagined it was because the feeling on a brush on her scalp set her on edge. She was mostly legs and a pale white skin at 14, with dark brown eyes, and even darker hair to match. She always walked slightly hunched with her head tucked near her left shoulder, with eyes downcast to the floor. They were always cast on the floor. She hugged her violin like a childhood blanket or bunny.
She was the kind of painful introverted that elicited one of two responses from people, they either kept away because of her awkwardness or like me, the heart melted in empathy. I didn’t see awkwardness, I saw magic. Lots of it. People who hold lots of magic have the burden of carrying it a world that doesn’t believe in it. Sometimes, turning inward is the only way to survive.
As May approached the stage, I could see some of the parents look a bit pained themselves. She almost shuffled, again, never looking anywhere but the floor. I’d seen May play before though and I was looking forward to the treat.
She placed her violin under the chin that was already glued to her shoulder, then…
The most beautiful sound….music played almost to perfection with a spiritual depth that brought my own soul closer to my skin. Her eyes now fixated only on the strings and her fingers.
She finished her piece, cast her eyes back on the floor and shuffled off stage, quickly, sat in her seat. The young girl sitting next to her smiled and mouthed, good job, she never looked at her nor responded.
I made a point after the recital to visit with May’s Mom and tell her how much I enjoyed her playing. Her Mom was a bit of a nervous woman, kind hearted, and very chatty, nothing like her daughter. We talked for a bit, then May came up and joined us, eyes still glued to the floor.
“May, I want to let you know how much I deeply enjoy your playing. It is superb! You have a gift.” For the first time she looked up, and I saw it. The Magic! There it was in the brightness in her eyes. She looked at me. Then pulled out a small plastic container from her pocket.
“Would you daughter like my magic rosin?” She handed it to me. It brought tears to my eyes. She did not thank me, her thank you to the complement was a gift in response.
Giving is the greatest expression of gratitude. Here was the gentle old soul, who was teaching me a great lesson, gratitude is a physical manifestation.
The clear rosin, had a picture in it, and I smiled in recognition. Before I tell you what that picture is, I must tell you the story of the owl.
Two months ago at the exact time I began my journey into a contemplative life, a Great Horned Owl took residence in the oak tree in the front yard. I have never seen or heard an owl in the wild before, and the “whooo, whoo”ing lasted about an hour. After that, he/she was gone, and owls began showing up everywhere for me when I never even notice or think about owls until after the that night. The next day, Anna came home from her dad’s wearing an owl shirt, she picked up an owl notebook for her guitar lessons, my aunt purchased a random owl statue and put it in her yard, there’s a whole owl section at Mica my favorite store, an own spoon rest that matches my kitchen perfectly on clearance for $1.00 and most recently, a gorgeous owl painting I almost bought at the local art show, gold owl earrings at the salon. That’s just to name a few, I see an owl every other day it seems.
So when I looked at the picture and it was an owl, right there in the rosin, I almost laughed.
“May, take a look at this.” I pulled Anna’s hair back and showed her the owl earrings that she was wearing, that she insisted she where this evening for her performance. I turned to May and her mom and did something I never do, I showed my true self in public and told her the whole story about owls, and how it seems to be the year of the owl, a year of wisdom. I spoke about how sometimes the Universe shows us things through synchronicity, and this is one of those times. As I spoke, May, who could barely focus on anything but the floor, looked at me intensely the whole time, her eyes bright, and then she did something I’d never seen, she smiled. It was a smile of recognition. It seems she too, understood the magic things, the mystic things that most people don’t know about, don’t care about, and definitely don’t discuss in public.
Maybe it was my new platinum blonde hair, maybe it was finally my own self confidence and courage maturing, maybe it was me simply loving myself, but I showed me, in all my odd glory. And what I found was, it was easy and felt good, and no one critiqued me, and even if they did, I wouldn’t have cared, because this is who I am and I am proud of that-I’m of the tribe of magic people, and we talk about things that other people well, might find a bit strange, and that’s okay. I found that everyone, May, her Mom, Anna, and me were all incredibly comfortable in my authenticity.
And you know what’s beautiful about being your true self, you find that it gives others space to be that as well, to connect, to know….
…they are not alone.
May is a magic person, magic people find each other by feeling and inner knowing. But more importantly we find each other the easiest when we allow ourselves to express ourselves fully in the world.
Be the light…so others can find you….and don’t dismiss synchronicities, or thoughts…that point you, exactly in the direction you need to be, to the people you need to be with. Trust your soul…it knows where to steer you.
Find your tribe…of magic people.
And know that we are gifts to each other. It is in the giving that we receive.