Magical Days

You can’t plan them; they just happen.
You can’t recreate them; they never repeat.
You can’t define them; they defy description.
You can’t earn them; they are gifts.

I’m talking, of course, about Magical Days. You’ve had them, at least one or two, I imagine.

One of mine was in Longwood Gardens, when I took over two hundred pictures. The lighting was perfect, diffused from a high-clouded sky, and even though neither the camera nor the photographer were professional, the colors were brilliant, and the flowers still look alive on the many prints that “turned out” that day. That magical day.

I had another one several years ago on my grandfather’s farm. Our family sold the property decades ago, but the house and barns are still standing. I picked up pears from the remnants of Grandpa’s proud orchard, and imagined him crossing the clearing between the granary and yard, and stepping up on to the porch with his glowing smile and near-blind eyes that day. That magical day.

Yet another was spent on a Carolina beach where the sun was so warm and the drinks were so cold and the children so happy playing in the surf. It was a world totally unlike my growing-up experiences, and a day I’ll never forget. That magical day.

We all would describe them differently, for we are moved by and value different things. But the thing all magical days have in common is that they sneak up on us and spring into our lives, often when we least expect them. The timely phone call of a friend, the laughter of a child, the closing of a sale, the finish of a project, the first blush of a dream: all of these are hints of magical days, and may even spawn them. And the surprise they bring is the surprise of grace.

We mistake those days if we live for them, or even out of them. God does not give them to have us create an idol of nature, relationships, or fleeting experience. They are, like all good things, temporal gifts “from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.” He aims them like arrows straight into our hearts, to remind us that we were made for one Eternal Day which we will spend with Him, delighting in Him as the Creator of all delights.

“This is the day that the Lord has made. . .
Psalm 118:24

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