April 21, 2008


I have this fairly random belief that everything I read is somehow inexplicably related to either some specific incident in reality or whatever it was I read previously. For example, I'll read something and find that one of the main characters' names was shared by a main character from the previous novel I read. Or, the stories revolve around the same town. Or, that, in the story, the characters were listening to Led Zeppelin and I had just listened to that same Zeppelin album the night before. Sometimes this link establishes itself 10 pages into a book. Sometimes it takes a couple hundred pages. But I'm always looking and it always happens. I choose to believe it's magic. Because magic has to exist. I don't want to believe in a world absent of magic.

On Friday, I was reading The End Of Vandalism. In it, one of the characters shoots and kills a great blue heron, a tall bird of unimaginable size that he stupidly mistakes for a duck. On Saturday morning while Mia and I were eating breakfast watching The Backyardigans, an immense shadow fell over the back yard. It was as though we were being invaded by aircraft intent on strafing the house. I suppose that was partially accurate. A giant blue heron landed, stood tall in our yard, looked around at us through the window and, thirty seconds later, took off. He returned briefly a half hour later then departed for good.

I happened to have a camera at arm's length. I got one, fairly bad shot. Bad because you can't tell how vast this creature was. But at least it's proof that it wasn't a hallucination.

So, I believe in magic. That belief was helped by the fact that Mia pooped last night. In a potty.

Do you believe in magic?

Posted by Chris at April 21, 2008 6:38 AM

That's so weirdly cool :-) I'd sure like to believe in magic. My Auntie Melissa believes every heron she sees is a reminder sent from her dad, who passed away a few years ago. Every time I see one I think of her. (Adoptive Auntie, so I didn't know her dad.)
Parts of me believe in all sorts of things, but I approach it all with a good bit of skepticism too. It's really a curious balance!

Posted by: Heather at April 21, 2008 6:34 AM

Magic, Serendipity, yes, I do believe...

And congratulations to Miabean!

Posted by: Maribeth at April 21, 2008 6:38 AM

Holy shit.
Excuse my french, but really, holy shit.
In college, my roommate began calling this my 'creepy black magic', because I have a million stories like this. My Mom is the same way. I can't tell you how many times she's said that she's been thinking about so-and-so....and the phone rings. Guess who? Oh that's right, so-and-so.
And that's the most benign of it.

I absolutely believe in magic.

Even that aside....what a cool thing to see out your window with your little girl. And your backyard is just awesome!

Posted by: Caitlin at April 21, 2008 6:43 AM

I believe! I love it when things like that happen. I used to see a heron in the woods near my old house sometimes, in the creek eating fish. It so impressively massive! And lovely too.

Congratulations on the potty :)

Posted by: bad penguin at April 21, 2008 7:01 AM

Yes, I believe in magic. When things like this happen to me, it gives me the creeps. Cool but a bit creepy too.

Posted by: Maria at April 21, 2008 7:05 AM

We used to have a heron visit our yard, too. We're a bit more rural, though...

He quit visiting after he (and the raccoons) had eaten all the fish in my backyard pond.

Are there fish in your pond?

Posted by: Alissa at April 21, 2008 7:16 AM

I believe in magic! I don't really call it magic but I believe in what you described. I am a firm believer in connections and that everywhere we go, we leave a little of ourselves behind and take a little bit with us for safe keeping.

Great blue herons were abundant where I grew up and every morning, at roughly the same time while I stood outside waiting for the bus, one would fly over our house, on the same path as the day before. I'd *hear* its wings before I saw it. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at April 21, 2008 7:49 AM

I believe, I believe! That stuff happens to me fairly often and it is a bit magical, isn't it?

As are the blue herons. We're lucky to live in a place where there are herons all over and I never get tired of admiring their graceful beauty.

Posted by: Shelly at April 21, 2008 7:52 AM

I love that you post so early, because I always have something to look forward to while sipping my first cup of coffee in the morning.

Yes, I absolutely believe in what you're talking about, but I call it by a different name. I'll spare you all of the mystical yammering (because I'm only on coffee #1 remember, and also it's Monday morning, and also who wants to hear it?!), but I like to think all of those magical little happenings are reminders for comfort's sake. Like notes your Mom may have left in your lunch when you were a kid just to let you know she loves you. That kind of thing.

Posted by: chatty cricket at April 21, 2008 8:00 AM

If you have fish in that pond,cover with netting....that bird showed up for lunch.

Posted by: becky at April 21, 2008 8:42 AM

Hah. I just saw one of those flying over 83 in Baltimore, on the way in to work this morning.

I remember seeing one in the woods at camp, when I was a kid, and thinking it was some kind of lost dinosaur. Massive.

Posted by: platypotamus at April 21, 2008 9:09 AM

1. great shot
2. LOVE your backyard *drool*
3. yay for Mia
4. we all have to believe just a little, right?

Posted by: Holly at April 21, 2008 9:12 AM

I believe in magic. My children do as well since magic is the answer to those hard to answer questions (i.e. How do babies get in mommies' tummies? etc.).

I was thinking of one of my close friends on Friday and wishing he was here (instead of Chatanooga where he lives) so we could go sit on a deck somewhere and drink a pitcher of Sweetwater 420 (do you guys get that up there?). Lo and Behold, he walks into my office at 10 til 12 and asked if I'd like to go to lunch! I didn't even know he was in town! My mind apparently is a powerful thing, which is why right now I am imagining Josh Hartnett walking through the door with a $2000 gift certificate to the spa.

Posted by: Mymilabean at April 21, 2008 9:20 AM

Magic? No.

Lifes great mysteries? Sure.

Congrats to Mia!!!

Posted by: Kelly M. at April 21, 2008 9:29 AM

I do believe in magic/fate/divine intervention - my mother died and I met my future husband (of 20 years now) three weeks later on the trip I had to reschedule because she was sick.
That is crazy that a Blue Heron was in your yard right after you were reading about one. I love when things like that happen!

Posted by: Nancy at April 21, 2008 9:33 AM

I would be willing to believe that Jesus Christ died specifically for Eric Cartman's kitty if it meant more potty-going. Congrats. That's a biggie.

(Teach her to stand on the floor and then touch her toes. It's the ONLY way to wipe a bum after potty training.)

PS: Your backyard kinda makes me want to die a little.

Posted by: Mr Lady at April 21, 2008 9:38 AM

I've had my fair share of "coincidences" too. That one is pretty significant though. :)

Yay for poop! Poop

Posted by: Brad at April 21, 2008 9:43 AM

Both the blue herron and poop in a single day. That's ... something. Definitely something.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at April 21, 2008 9:50 AM

Hallelujah! I beLIEVE!!!!

And congratulations to Mia. Good for her. Good for you.

Then again, if it's not magic, can you explain how I managed to do laundry, played with kitty, made dinner, did dishes, sewn my curtains, AND blogged all in one Sunday afternoon? :)

Posted by: oakley at April 21, 2008 10:15 AM

Congrats to Mia! That's very cool about the heron.

And yes! I definitely believe in magic. :)

Posted by: Lisa at April 21, 2008 11:20 AM

Several years ago, I sat on the couch watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a ruckus in my backyard. Getting up, I saw three - THREE - ginormous turkeys running across the yard. (This is abnormal.) It was as if the Thanksgiving Gods were giving me the green light to enjoy my holiday meal. And you know what? I DID. I enjoyed it with mashed potatoes. AND GRAVY.

Posted by: GreenCanary at April 21, 2008 12:06 PM

Magic? Huh. Maybe that was just me popping in to say hello.

I most definitely believe in magic. Always have, always will.

Posted by: bhd at April 21, 2008 12:17 PM

I always look for connections between my stories and real life or "signs" from different parts of my life.

I usually find them.

Posted by: zanie at April 21, 2008 3:58 PM

I believe. The alternative is too grim. And Mia's given us proof. And that heron is huge, and I'm from the sticks where all the critters are huge. Just when I had started calling the History Channel the tabloid journalism channel, all Notradamus and bigfoot, all the time. Maybe we'll have to take MonsterQuest more seriously . . .

Nah . . . can't do it.

Posted by: OS at April 21, 2008 4:00 PM

Beautiful bird....! HUGE! And, definitely magical. DEFINITELY.

Posted by: Haley-O at April 21, 2008 7:16 PM

I'm not sure it's "magic" exactly that I believe in, but I will tell you that I believe in those strange coincidences, ghosts, past lives, and the like.

My favorite is when I learn some seemingly stupid and useless information (at the time), which then comes in handy (!) a short while later. This has happened to me more than once, and each time it happens is just as odd and fascinating as the first time it happened to me.

I guess stuff like that just bolsters my belief that 'everything happens for a reason.'

And hallelujah for pooping in the potty!!!!

Posted by: ironic1 at April 21, 2008 8:01 PM

Yay Mia!!!

Posted by: coolchick at April 21, 2008 8:16 PM

Cool shot! Everyone knows herons are the universal symbol of poo, so it doesn't surprise me a bit....

(I love herons, never tired of seeing them)

Posted by: Wendy at April 22, 2008 12:45 PM

In springtime I believe in magic. I always think of Frances Hodgson Burnett (whose name I'm sure I've misspelled -- the woman who wrote The Secret Garden). She had a line about Magic creating new life in the spring, and how it was the same Magic that lives in all of us, "The Great Good Thing." She said it doesn't matter what you call it, just that you know it's there.

Posted by: julie at April 22, 2008 1:54 PM

Of course I believe in magic.

And unicorns. I'm not kidding.

This is a nice question, because one of the most important things I'd like to instill in my daughter as she grows up is to keep her magic. (All kids are born magic)

Posted by: jessica at April 22, 2008 3:40 PM

This happens to me with words. I will read a word I've never seen before. Then I will look it up and within a day I usually hear someone say it either on TV or in person. Never fails. And it's so weird! I also put out street lights. Do you do that too?

Posted by: Amy at April 23, 2008 12:04 AM

Of course I believe in magic. We've had a joker in the White House for some eight years now. What more proof do you need?

Posted by: Stella at April 27, 2008 2:03 PM

Every time Declan poops, it's magic, dude.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at April 28, 2008 6:40 PM

that's not serendipity, and it's not magic, it's synchronicity. ;)


Posted by: miabean at October 1, 2008 12:05 AM