Line Your Yes up with Magic - What Happened Next

Hearts full slight pano.jpg

Well, magic happened; an ongoing, steady stream of it.

I decided to leave my note in the forest for 3 or 4 weeks, in case the holder of Dad’s heart didn’t travel this trail often. I hoped they’d be back at some point, and besides, it was an experiment in wonder.

(*Note - If you haven’t read Part 1 of this story, where I lost my shit when something important to me got messed with, it starts here.)


1) Kindness from Strangers

Seven days after posting my request, when I’d begun to settle into the reality that my rock was not coming back, this little heart appeared to light the place up. Someone decided to bring their own magic to the party.

Game on—the world was showing up to play.

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2) Love from A Friend

A couple of days later, I left on a road trip to the West Coast, picking up my good friend Kate along the way. Near the end of our trip, she placed a perfectly shaped heart rock in my hands and said, “I was out riding my horse and spotted this, and I knew it was for you.”

It was obvious where it was destined to live. When I got home I brought it out to join the first rock along with a couple of small ones I’d found on the trail and took the note away, feeling the experiment had run an awesome course.

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3) Dad won’t be contained

Nope, not over.

The next day (which happened to be Father’s Day) on a short walk along our normal route, Lily and I found five heart-shaped rocks. They were everywhere, delivering a message from my Dad. “My essence and love are not confined to a single rock. Let the physical thing go, and stay present with the energy that lit it up.”

Turns out things that aren’t restricted by form (like wisdom, connection, magic) just keep fractaling into infinite new expressions. Got it. Thanks Daddio.

Swung by on the way home to add the new additions to the tree-that-once-was. To an ordinary Muggle this might look like an old dead stump, but obviously it’s now a waypoint for magic.

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How cool that on Father’s Day I got to make something beautiful with the best raw materials ever: my creativity, my Dad, the natural world and the unexpected. Things could have joyfully ended here.

But magic was not done yet.


4) Then Alice Showed Up

25 years ago I asked Alice Saltiel, a local artist whose work I admired, if she would teach me how to oil paint.

She said no. Six months later I asked again. Still no.

“I’m a painter,” she said, “not a teacher.”

The third time around, I invited her for dinner. By the end of the evening it was obvious we were like-minded souls, and she gave in to the inevitable. For the next few months I painted with her daily, beginning a rich mentorship and friendship that lasted for years and led us on all kinds of wild painting adventures together.

Alice died this February, and I got to spend a remarkable hour with her just a few days before. It was precious and sacred, and we made a pact to keep our connection alive going forward.

So no surprise when Alice’s family, hosting a celebration of her life a couple of weeks ago, asked the guests to bring a special or heart-shaped rock for a rock circle, and to take a different one when leaving. Their hope was that we would bring the new one to live someplace special in our world.

Interestingly, when Alice arrived at the forest party, she didn’t just settle in. No matter where I placed her rock, it seemed awkward and out of place. I was tight on time and had to be somewhere, so I left it as it was, deciding I was probably over-thinking it.

I wasn’t.

Alice was an artist through and through, unwaveringly committed to beauty, order and delight. If something was out of balance, she turned her attention to creating attunement.

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At home that evening I kept feeling an urge. Her energy was pulling me back out to the forest.

Off I went.

Once there, I took the time to slow down, moving her rock around and listening to the feedback. In the end, where it wanted to live was unexpected. There was a small depression in the wood that fit the rock perfectly, around the corner, looking away from the others.

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At first it didn’t make sense, until I stepped back. Then I saw it.

This entire experience was transdimensional.

The twist in the wood, the circular movement, the multi-directionality made perfect sense.

Magic isn’t bound by the physical world, and it won’t be limited to one plane. It just keeps inviting us to open to wider perceptions and greater possibilities. Got it. Thanks Alice.


5) More Random Kindness

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A couple of days ago as I was writing what I thought was the conclusion of this story, a new friend arrived on the scene, nestled in a groove near the top of the stump .

Yet another ally, showing up to play.

So curious what’s going on for the passers-by who are choosing to engage in this experience—trust they’re having their own journey with magic.


Tracking the Magic

So here’s a visual summary of what’s gone down in the last month of choosing to not see ‘something precious lost’ as something precious lost.

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Do I want my damn rock back? Yes.

But if that’s all I focused on, look what I’d miss.