I'm afraid that the magic may have slipped away under the dark of night in my life. It's sad, really. The fire in the belly. The skip in the step. The excitement of spirit and even the twinkle in the eye instead of a glazed over look. I'm not even completely sure how, or exactly when, the smoke and mirrors disappeared from the act. And maybe, just maybe, I wasn't completely in tune with it's departure. There's a possibility that it's middle age. Or stress. Could even be the gradual integration of a nasty case of cynicism into my life. Or the fact that I've been in my job for a long time. But today, at a completely unsuspecting moment, I was transported, uninvited, into someone else's magical moment. Childlike, almost.
I came face to face with a person on their first day at a new job. Not just any job. This was a job that I know well. Too well? And there she was, an established, professional, well-dressed woman. Perfect. A bit older than some others, perhaps. Maybe even a little more difficult for her to learn a new trade, with huge amounts of course work and studying. A real mental and emotional five-week push to get to where she was today. Proudly wearing her new uniform and desperately wanting her performance to match all that she had invested in her new life.
So, we're together, she and I. Side by side. Everything is working out beautifully in a technical, mechanical, sort of way. That's how it becomes after many years. Mechanical and mundane. We're moving faster and faster. But in one brief moment of heavy silence, both of our minds rehearsing critical mental checklists, she said out loud to me, "Wow, it just hit me that this is my moment, the one that I've been preparing for." I could feel the sense of accomplishment in her voice. And I felt a giant lump fill my throat immediately. My brown eyes became instantly heavy with tears. She was very proud of her achievement. And she should be. I was the lucky one who was privy to sharing this beautifully perfect and moving moment. With a stranger. It reminded me of a kind of magic that needs to happen more often in my life. Pride. Accomplishment.