A few (well 17, actually) years ago, I wrote a series of fables. I thought maybe I'd share this one tonight. It's not one of my favorites, but I don't think I've shared it before, so... Alas, there have been no miracles in the back yard, so my pictures are from last August and the August before that.
Katherine E. Rabenau
The miracle happened at the intersection of Forty-ninth Street and Fifth Avenue. Invisible as breathing, soft as a snowfall, sitting in her wheelchair Mary Dillon, poster child for the March of Dimes, felt a breeze so small it was a whisper (could it be angel wings?) and then, as clear and precise as it was inconceivable, one soft kiss on each of her steel-bound legs. And she knew, impossible as it was, silly as it sounded, that she, who had never taken an unaided step in her eight years of life, could now walk - and even dance - with the best of them. She could hardly believe it.
Luckily, at age eight, she had not lost her belief in magic, and she smiled a secret smile to herself. She could walk! What would it feel like, she wondered, to jump and run and dance? Could she really do such things? It was so wonderful, but so odd, like imagining that she could go into the TV screen and talk to the characters she saw there. Walking was an alien universe, and though she was eager to enter, it did not feel real, did not feel solid.
But it was real! She could feel her legs, strangely solid and strong inside the confining braces, flowing with new life and eager to be released into freedom. "I can walk!" she whispered softly to herself, and the sound hovered in the air around her and kissed her cheek. "I can walk! I can walk! I can walk!" she sang quietly to herself and laughed. Just wait 'til everyone saw! Wouldn't it be awesome! "Look at me!" she would shout, leaping from her chair, braces falling away. And she would dance and spin and run in circles and fall laughing to the ground. She would play tag and Ring-Around-the-Rosie and Hide and Seek. She would go on swings and slide down slides, and maybe even climb a tree. And she would laugh and laugh and laugh with joy, and everyone would laugh with her. She sighed contentedly. She could hardly wait.
Around her, things looked vibrantly alive and clear, and at the same time very far away. She shook her head to clear it. She had been kissed by an angel and her legs were fixed. What made the angel do it? Did angels kiss people all the time and she just hadn't heard about it? Was it because she was a poster child? No, that didn't make sense. Maybe it wasn't for her. Maybe it was for her parents, who, though they smiled and laughed a lot in her presence, often seemed sad and tired, and not really quite happy. Maybe now the laughter would be in their eyes too. That was good.
But she didn't really think it was for her parents, though she did think it would make them happy. No, it was for her, and it was a puzzle. Why her? Why not somebody else? And then the truth went through her like a shudder. Angels did kiss people all the time! Every day, every hour, every minute, even, and people didn't notice. She had just been paying attention at the right moment and the miracle had taken. It was that simple. Life was full of miracles. It was just a matter of keeping your and ears open and accepting the gift.
"Thank you, Angel. Thank you. Thank you for my legs and for all the miracles. I promise to tell everyone and to keep watch for you always. "I love you," she whispered. And sweet on the breeze, like the pure, soft tone of a bell, she heard the angel smile.
Some things I'm grateful for today:
- water - for drinking and bathing
HAVE A MIRACULOUS DAY!