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  • Writer's pictureasj

daily magic: the kid in the carpool line

I am reading Patti Smith's M Train, and it is Patti Smith just the way I love her, flexing her literary chops, her prose so fine and evocative, rhythmic like a train itself.

I am not finished with it. But so far, she's mentioned talismans at least twice. And now it's in my head and I have an idea: to do what I did for so many years, which is to notice all the magic and miracles all around me all the time, the talismans that carry messages.

Patti Smith, in her punk godmotherly way, will make a whimsical fairy of us all.

But there *is* pleasure in embracing whimsy; it's not at all bad for the soul. Today, it's just what I need. Today it's this:

A kid at the elementary school drop off line is helping greet and get kids out of cars, and move cars along. She looks as surly as the adults who work this line, and they are so, so surly.

But then she opens the door of our car and has a wide smile for my kids. As she closes the door, she smiles at me and says politely, "Have a nice day!"

Her blue and green and purple streaked hair blows in the pollen dusted wind. I sneeze and thank her and tell her the same. And it does seem like I'll have a nice day.

She has the easy sincerity of the young (in contrast to the earnest sincerity o f the slightly-older and much-older, who have been burned and yet work so hard to pump sunshine and human connection into the world).

Perfect for a Monday, a Tuesday too.


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