Sometimes, serendipity merges into magic.
It started small, with a bunch of daffodils. Standing in the queue at the supermarket, a lady handed it to me. ‘I’ve bought a whole box of them’, she said. In a corner, the boxes were stacked; one pound fifty for twenty bunches of yellow flowers, past their date but yet to bloom. I thanked her and went on my way, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the flowers — all these papery golden buds. After my son’s swimming lesson, just before the shop shut, we went back and bought the last box (completing the circle, I gave a bunch to the person behind me in the queue). Once home, I filled every vase in the house: the day was Imbolc, festival of the seeds of spring, and it seemed like serendipity.
A few days later, on a sunny February morning, I was staying by the coast in Cornwall with my friends. We clambered down stone steps onto the beach and stripped to our swimming costumes. Sand was cool beneath the soles of our feet as we ran laughing into the sea. This was our first ever swim together, and it was a mermaid moment. All at once, amongst the waves we spotted it, head bobbing just metres away: a seal. For a few minutes we swam parallel, us and the seal, sharing the sea on a sparkling morning. It was an instance of what Mary Oliver called ‘the witchery of living’: the world, she wrote, ‘is more than the beating of a single heart/ it’s praising.’ Praising — I think — can mean many things. It can look like a swim with a seal.
At the end of that day, walking back alongside the sand, we stopped to stare at the sky. Soft, pale, ballet slipper pink, its warm glow was reflected in the stillness of the sea. The sun had dipped away below the cliffs and there, suspended above the opposite headland, we saw the pale circle of a round full moon. Shell-pink clouds brightened, and became so rosy that the sea, too was blushing — until all warmth melted away and the sky faded to azure. Over the headland, the shining silver locket moon rose and rose until it hung high — a perfect penny — its reflection casting a luminous path over the bay, up to the edge of the sand. I was not cold, but I shivered — my face touched by the glow.
Returning home, I looked up the time on my moon calendar. In the exact moment the Snow Moon became full, we had been there: under the sky, beside the sea. We hadn’t known, and yet we had been waiting for the moon to rise. I felt it again — the witchery of living — and serendipity merged into magic
Thank you for reading,
PS: Two days later, I signed the contract for my second book. Serendipity… or perhaps a little moon magic?
PPS: Writing this piece, listening to this on repeat.
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Wonderful words as always and so excited to hear about a second book. Congrats❤️
I absolutely adored reading this Laura. I love falling into your words and this piece was no exception!