On Saturday morning, the most normal yet magical thing happened to me.
I woke up, much like any Saturday. I didn’t feel particularly well-rested. And I didn’t sleep in particularly late. I gathered my bowl of cereal and sat in bed catching up on some TV.
Eventually, I got up and got dressed, packed a backpack, and headed out the door. I am part of this women’s group in Portland and the meeting this month was in the branch of the library just down the street from me.
One of the reasons I was so excited about my new apartment is because I was finally walking distance from a library. In a city where walking places didn’t make you a little bit crazy.
I was dressed early, but I needed to return some books to the library, and I figured I’d probably pick up some more.
As I walked, I tried to really enjoy myself. I tried to appreciate that the sun was unexpectedly out. The air was crisp and refreshing. The flowers had started to bloom. And the world just seemed, in all its normalcy, a little bit magical.
Before leaving the house, I checked if a book I needed was available at the library. My book club this was suddenly taking place on Wednesday, and I didn’t even have the book! Unfortunately, all the copies of the book were out, and I was still pretty far down the line on the hold list.
That’s ok, I thought. I made plans, then, after my meeting to go down to a bookstore, eat some lunch, and then settle down at one of the many tea shops around down to start reading.
I got to the library and scanned the Lucky Day shelves. These are shelves in every branch that hold the most sought after, new-ish books. There are sometimes great finds in there. It totally just depends on your timing. And I love it!
I found the new Eddie Huang book and checked it out. I still had a few minutes so I went to the fiction section. I rarely just pick up books from the shelves any more. I’m always looking for something or have something on hold. This time was no different. I figured I’d just look under L. Even if they didn’t have this specific book, maybe they’d have something else by the author.
I realized I was in the wrong part all together, the M-Z section of fiction. But still, I walked the shelves, breezily passing my hand over random books. I remember there was a book called Witch of Bourbon Street which made me think of my trip to NOLA from a year ago.
Then I followed the shelf to the A-L section, starting with the A’s.
All the way at the other end, on the top shelf, I found the section I’d been looking for. And there, to my surprise, lay the book I needed to find.
I quite honestly couldn’t believe it.
I was sure when I’d try to check it out, it wouldn’t let me, announcing, instead, that it was meant to be on hold for someone else.
But it went through with no problem.
Now I know this isn’t magic. This isn’t the universe sending a small gift my way. I know. But still, I relish it. I revel in it. I savor the moment the sun shone on me in this strangely normal way. And I allow myself to wonder, maybe it is.