Sometimes you find that you're walking in magic, and you wait to see if it's just sleep deprivation, or that codeine you needed to take for the pain, or the air pressure changing. And you wait to feel it slip away.
Sometimes, though, it stays, at least for a while.
I came to Canada, brought by a gift from my brother. He made a plan to gift my mother with me, wrapped in surprise. It could have been so much less than it was, but it wasn't. Before the end of the visit, and again at the end, she told both of us that my brother had given her what she thought might be the happiest birthday she had ever had, or at least certainly the best she had had in years.
I saw it in her eyes, and I was so glad to be part of it. I was so glad she hadn't died before we could be together, and it's all right for me to say that, because she said it to me; she was so glad she had been able to live to see me again.
And I saw it in my brother's eyes, and heard it in his voice, my little brother who I protected when he was a baby, and who has cared for me now that we're both getting old and creaky. That was a wonderful thing to see, because so often we know that we are loved, without knowing it quite so deeply or so well as we should. That's me, too often. I have a wonderful brother.
And I was able to have my Best Beloved by my side, because my brother made it possible. And they were able to spend time together. I know a little of what they said, and have no intention of finding out more, because they were bonding. ("Go 'way," my beloved said to me, grinning in the lamplight. "We're male bonding!") And he got to breathe the Nova Scotian air. He talked about apples and smoking fish with my step-dad, and made life a little more interesting for my step-dad. He met Clara, and made their lives both more interesting.
We saw a parade. We saw crows. We traveled over hills and into valleys and Valleys. We saw the deep greens of evergreens and all the different greens around them. I cried a little, letting go of some family treasures that needed to be let go, and found and treasured them in my heart. And was granted the grace to see others (letters written by my mother to my grandparents, when she was a 19-year-old nursing student, eating too many turnips and parsnips in the nursing hall, letters to them from her as a young nurse in Toronto and Montreal, to them when she was a young mother on Mont Jolie, and even one from me, a young and homesick theater student, to my grandmother - how did that one get in there - and a heretofore undiscovered picture of my young mother, eyes unsure, new-won nurse's cap atop her head, a picture now mine.)
It always comes back to my mother. And my brother and my beloved were there as well. No Fundy side walk this time, no grape-nut ice cream, no visits with old friends from school. No matter. No matter at all.
Because all the magic came, and stayed at least for a while.
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