The world is full of magic things,
patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
Each Tuesday, Baby Bird and I have a standing appointment with Miss. K. Miss K. helps us overcome challenges Baby Bird has faced after spending the first year of her life in an orphanage.
We park our car in one of the designated spots in the lot across the street. Then we ride the elevator to the third floor and try to guess which of two elevator doors, front or back, will open. Next we sign in, and note our parking space, on the sign-in clipboard which is on top of a pine cabinet in the lobby. Baby Bird always peeks inside. She has done so since our first visit, more than a year ago.
During our early visits, she would open one of the double glass-paned doors and search, sweeping her tiny hand over each shelf. Occasionally there was a piece of paper or a pen, and she would try to take it.
This is not ours. Please put it back.
Months later, she opened the cabinet and lo and behold—stickers. Baby Bird reached inside and took the sheet of farm animal stickers off the shelf.
Those stickers are not ours. Please put them back.
At that moment, a voice behind me calls out.
Those are her stickers.
I turned around to see Miss T., the building receptionist, with a twinkle in her eye.
My heart swelled. Wow, I guess those stickers are ours after all.
We carry the stickers with us to our appointment with Miss K. and tell her about the Magic Cabinet. She smiles.
Week after week, Baby Bird checks inside the Magic Cabinet. Some weeks there is nothing to find and other weeks she discovers a small token: a plastic cup, a miniature toy parakeet, a little pail. I always ask Baby Bird to say thank you, even though I’m pretty sure she doesn’t understand the connection between the Magic Cabinet and Miss T.
While I know she enjoys the gifts, her interest in them doesn’t seem to last as long as her interest in the Magic Cabinet itself. Her delight lies in the quest more than the acquisition. She was just as curious about the cabinet, before there were gifts, as she is now.
One week, I tell Miss T. that we don’t expect to always find a surprise in the cabinet. I don’t want her to feel she has to keep the Magic Cabinet stocked.
I truly enjoy watching her excitement from simply looking inside. I love her curiosity, is what she says.
Hasn’t anyone else ever looked inside, I ask.
No. She’s the only one.
As the holiday season approaches, the Magic Cabinet reminds me:
Curiosity opens doors
Magic lies in the mystery
Be thankful for life’s simple blessings
It isn’t the gift that matters, but the giving
Take the road less traveled, Beth