Five Moments You Entered the Mystery

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”  

~ Roald Dahl

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”

~ J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Portal of light.

Go ahead. Step through.

No one ever asks why things are as they are.

Trust your wild tangle of intuition.  Believe what you see, even if you cannot fathom or envision or imagine it.  Until now.  Chat over thick, cinnamon-spiced coffee.  Sample burning hot shrimp, cherry snow cones, and churros rolled in dark sugar.


A spotted Egyptian Mau cat skitters across your path half a block from the house.  Clementine.  She runs under the edge of the porch, gold-green eyes shining in the headlights of a passing car.

“That cat looks just like Clem,” you say out loud.

Six hours later, your mother calls and leaves a voice mail:  “Baby’s dead.”  At 16, Clemmie lived with your mom in a suburb south of Seattle, some 1500 miles away.

She came to say goodbye.


1997. Heading home from the first week of graduate school, you watch the smear of billboards on Melrose as your bus passes block after block of shabby strip malls, fast food joints and family-run bodegas. Your heart, that slippery fish, swims out of your chest. You pray under your breath:  I need a sign, guidance, respite. You arrive home to find your roommate hovering over another bouquet.  Her boyfriend sent flowers again. You close yourself in your bedroom and flop down on the bed. The sky turns pink, then azure.  She taps lightly on the door, asks, “Aren’t you going to look at the card that came with your roses?” You open up to see her standing there.  Her face is full of questions. You pull the tiny envelope from its nest in the soft white blooms.  On it, in a close friend’s handwriting, a Buddhist parable: Winter never fails to turn to spring.


Mornington Crescent section of London, 1979. Just at the moment your lip starts to quiver and you might need to call your mother to rescue your ass, a man in a great coat sweeps in from the rain and offers his assistance.  In twenty minutes he chats up a friend and finds you a room for £17.50 a week including breakfast and supper.  As quickly as he appeared, he’s gone.  Decades later you still wonder if he was an angel.  A guardian sent to protect you when you most needed it.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ~ W. B. Yeats

“Let yourself become living poetry.” ~ Rumi


In total darkness, unable to shake off a sense of foreboding, you watch the moon rise. You’re with Michael – the archangel, not the man – and he folds you up in his arms.  The heater hisses and thumps.  Like an old lover he shows up whenever you need him most, his hands rough from shaping bread into fragrant round loaves. There are secrets and sweetness buried in that bread.

You awaken as the cat licks away your tears.

© 2012  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

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