/ˈmajik/ Noun: The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
Lord, have mercy, y’all – It’s been a while. My excuses include: strep throat (Sweet Pea), croup (Butterbean), pink eye (also Butterbean), a viral concoction of previously mentioned germs (Moi), work, costume-making, party planning, trash talking anybody who’s not a ‘Bama fan, more work, more germs, and… The Perfect Storm.
So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking while pacing through these sleepless nights, cradling (and praying for) my feverish little boys. Also, as this cold snap has sent us all in a frenzied fury to our cedar chests, grabbing anything wool and/or warm that we can quickly wrap ourselves with, I’ve been reminded…
It was almost three years ago that we moved to Birmingham. It was cold and gray for weeks and weeks after we arrived. It was not the welcome I had anticipated.
Less than 24 hours after we parked the moving truck we realized that Sweet Pea was sick. Dreadfully sick. After clamoring to find a pediatrics clinic (open the night before Thanksgiving), we were slapped with a diagnosis of H1N1 virus. He was only 17 months old. I was terrified, and overwhelmed with it all. Thank goodness for family. They kept us warm and fed and (as best they could) sane. I remember desperately wanting to find one of his blankets (my favorite, not his), although everything we owned was packed in boxes and I couldn’t get my hands on it. I lost sleep over that blanket… Or maybe I wasn’t sleeping because I was in a new place… Or maybe it was because my baby was so terribly ill… Or maybe it was a little bit of everything.
By the time I unpacked said blanket, Sweet Pea was already two years old. I’d all but forgotten about it. (You may remember it took us seven months to find and renovate a house. Those boxes had to wait.) Funny how we sometimes think that we need *exactly* something to make everything better, that there’s some sort of *magic* involved. What we needed was time, some antibiotics, a good night’s sleep, and some sunshine. It all came to us. We mended and moved on…
My, has it really been this long?
I suppose the honeymoon is long over. We’ve unpacked and planted roots. We’ve done our placemaking and we’ve quilted a tight, yet broad community. And at times, I’ve believed that by documenting my own adventure here in Birmingham that I’ve somehow influenced events…or people…or maybe both. At some point, I’m certain, I’ve created a little bit of my own Magic.
For my veteran readers, you’ll remember that, for a long time, I shamelessly promoted myself as a “newcomer to the Magic City”. I had such a lust for this city back then – its history, its people, its every crease and crevice. I’m still pretty smitten with Birmingham, but that lust has calmed into a deeper love and appreciation for everything that Birmingham is and is not.
It is not the city I thought I was moving to. And that has made all the difference in the world.
Last week I met with a long-time resident of the City. He told me to forget about the three main ingredients needed to make steel (the characteristics that gave Birmingham it’s nickname and a short history of extreme highs and lows). Instead, he encouraged me to look out for all the Magic yet to come.
I’m eager to get started.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a snotty, whimpering little 1yo that needs cuddling and squeezing. But don’t let me leave you empty-hearted…
Let’s take a gander down memory lane, shall we? Let’s revisit my first two Magic City anniversaries.
As you can see, a lot of my Magic City story has changed, and much for the better. The friends I’ve made are the best part, of course, and watching my boys grow atop the red clay hills, but I’ve also enjoyed promoting this great city I live in.
And so, a new chapter begins. More on that soon, but I’ll guarantee you that the Magic is only beginning…