Magic All Around Us

Monday Morning Musings:

“Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing. Everything is made of out magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden—in all the places.”

–Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden


“A church is place where people go to see something that is very difficult to see. A place where the invisible is—at least for a moment—made visible.

The theater can be that too.”

The Christians: An Essay by Lucas Hnath,” Playwrights Horizon Bulletin


It is the season of life,

spring, when flowers bloom

and birds sing and chatter from dawn till dusk,

and then some,

squirrels chase each other up and down

the tree’s umbrageous limbs,

rabbits hop, stop, and sprint across the grass

dotted with yellow flowers,

probably weeds,

but eye of the beholder and all that,

now, today

it’s rainy and gloomy, and

we commemorate the fallen.

Lights out,

All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Nothing dies that hasn’t first lived

and there are ghosts all around us.


At the start of this holiday weekend,

we go to see The Secret Garden,

pathos and harmonies,

glorious score, creative set,

stunningly beautiful voices.

(“Yummy,” said the woman next to me.)

There was a secret garden

once loved, but left to languish,

rediscovered, it is brought back to life

a bit of earth blooms

sorrow, not forgotten,

but eased,

a garden and a family recreated.

In the magic of theater, I’m bewitched, entranced,


I dream of ghosts and enchanted gardens

with songs floating in the air,

Come to my garden.


The next day, we see another play

about faith and changing beliefs,

about questioning and communication,

the pastor has a powerful urge to communicate

I wonder if his message resonates more powerfully

with believers?

Still, the play sparks conversation

as we sit outside at a wine café on a beautiful afternoon,

although I have to lead with

(vent about)

the person sitting next to me,

man-spreading into my personal space

(fortunately, I’m small)

fidgeting and reaching for his water

on the floor between his spread legs,

non-stop for the first ten minutes of the play,

before he abruptly gets up and leaves.

Perhaps there is a god.

But still

I dream of ghosts and enchanted gardens

with songs floating in the air,

Come to my garden


Before the first play,

(the yummy-voiced musical)

we walk in the garden of

Christ Church

People had crises of faith then, too–

and wars–

life blooms all around

in the garden

on this beautiful summer-like day,

as do reminders of death

life and death

an endless cycle.

But still

I dream of ghosts and enchanted gardens

with songs floating in the air,

Come to my garden.


That night

(after the yummy-voiced musical)

we sit outside,

enjoying, the beautiful evening

family, old and young

different generations

shared loved

love that blooms

and blooms again

like the flowers in a garden,

the magic of life, the sorrow of death

circle of life recreated and recast every second

as cells are sloughed off and created,

people and animals born and die.

Every spring, the earth awakens


in a garden

on earth

And I dream–

I dream of ghosts and enchanted gardens

with songs floating in the air,

Come to my garden.


We saw The Secret Garden at the Arden Theatre

Christ Church, Philadelphia 

We saw The Christians at the Wilma Theater 

Some history of “Taps”  







29 thoughts on “Magic All Around Us

  1. I am so glad I swallowed the tea I’d sipped just before reading “Perhaps there is a god.” The tea might have ended up on my computer screen as part of the outburst of laughter that resulted upon reading. 😉

    I love how you turn your musings and events in life into beautiful poems. ♥♥♥

    “The Secret Garden” is one of my favorite books, and any play described as “yummy” is one I think I should see. I’m going to follow your link, check our schedule, and see if we can get up there to see it (if tickets are still available, of course).

  2. I eat my breakfast accompanied by bird chatter and under umbrageous limbs. I thought you had taken poetic license making an adjective from “umbrage.” But no, it’s in the dictionary. Thanks, Doc!

  3. What an annoying person! I love theatre. Sigh. Why don’t I write about it? (I don’t know the answer to that question). We were at the symphony (again) and there were a lot of newbies there. You could just tell: clapping between movements, beverages and the noises consistent with the beverages, blue jeans and shorts, etc. At first I was really annoyed by all the noise and distraction, but then I realized that a lot of people who weren’t used to going to the symphony were having the experience of their lives. (Unlike the guy you write about here). That was pretty cool. As usual, I am off on a tangent. Sigh. So sorry, Merril, but you always get my mind going.

    • I’m glad I get your mind going, Luanne. 🙂
      That is a nice thought though–that people are suddenly experiencing to the first time and loving it. I haven’t been to a symphony in ages.

    • Good to hear that some newbies are going to the symphony. I am in my 40s and was the second youngest person there and the rest were elderly. We need to keep those audiences coming otherwise we will lose ready access to great music. My daughter is learning the violin and is only 10 and we need to keep the music playing.

      • I’m so glad to hear your daughter is learning violin (the best instrument!), Rowena. My favorite classes as a kid were the music classes, and when we didn’t have music it was so disappointing. What a shame that your audience was almost completely elderly. I feel that way about a lot of our concerts, though, too–so it was actually thrilling to see young people at a classical concert!

      • It is a shame but we live a bit out of Sydney so I’m not sure if they get more of a younger audience there.
        My daughter has become very involved with music at school and must be enjoying it.

  4. I liked the way you shared so much of the weekend within this poem setting. The intergenerational photograph is an amazing testament to family, “sisterhood” and you, Merril. I am glad the Secret Garden was delightful and “yummy!” 🙂

  5. The refrain in this is so beautiful–I found myself looking forward to it as I read each stanza. These are my favorite lines:

    Nothing dies that hasn’t first lived
    and there are ghosts all around us.

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