Sunday Archive: Ordinary Magic

This one is from five years ago. I have edited out some of it that related to that time but the sentiment is present this time of year in those cool grey evenings when the light fades…

Yesterday afternoon, after a tussle with the Harvard Referencing system, I sat down and looked out at the afternoon sky. It was an ordinary day, neither here nor there. But sometimes, often, it is in the ordinary that the magic resides. Such days do not push themselves upon us. They allow us to drift, free us from the demand for enthusiastic action.

‘It’s so sunny!we must go out!’

‘Its snowing!’we must build a snow man!’

On a dull day, an ‘ordinary’ day, we don’t have to do a damn thing.

As I watched, the clouds grew more ragged and dark against the western sky, bright and tinged with gold as the day faded. I could hear the cold wind from the north combing the roof and feel it in the draughts around the windows and doors. Without having to look, I knew the sea to the east would have become a solid block of cobalt in the dusk. On Brownstown Head, the brake lights of some fisherman’s car might glimmer, ruby-like in the patched green folds that are trimmed with rusty rocks and seem, at this time, to be stitched onto the blue-grey stuff of the bay. As the wind died, as it often does around sunset, the light from the Hook lighthouse in Wexford would begin to flash.

I felt the tiredness in my bones and, without thinking, I was right in the moment. And in every moment of every ordinary day ever and nothing mattered that much and without looking I knew the fisherman had gone from the opposite headland, up the muddy, rutted path to home and I felt, without seeing, the light fading and the wind dying and then the rain came.

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