There are times when magic happens. Deep magic that you do not seek or look for, but it finds you.
It is a lovely day today and as I turned my van onto roads that I had never traveled before I happened upon a street in a corner of Fondren, Miss. It is a street of modest 1940s homes that were bursting with active front porches.
There was a porch with two young men chatting. Here another burgeoning with flowers, and over there and elderly grandmother cheerily waving back at me.
Next, came a yard that simply beckoned me welcome.
I pulled my van over and stepped out of the car. Two women, one on her porch, the other seating on a yellow metal bench, working with the cuttings of a vitex tree, whose soft scent filled the air. Flower patches everywhere. It was exhilarating and joyous, these explosions of cultivated color, mixed with strong lines of order and majesty.
As we visited, and I admired their porch and yard, I felt the welcome that makes even a stranger feel at home.
Tamaria led me around her home. I admired her beautiful door art. We went to the back yard and I beheld even more exquisite plants. Capucine radiated a grace and strength as she worked, her long braids wrapped loosely behind her. A deep freeze is forecast tomorrow and tending what she does not want lost was going to take the greater part of this balmy day.
She asked about my porch and my yard, and I realized that before me sat a woman of such depth that I wanted greatly to sit at her feet and learn. The breeze stirred and all the chimes lining the porch danced and made soft music.
Tamaria pointed out her neighbor’s porches across the street, describing the Jamaican woman’s paradise and the medical students who were working so hard on their porch and yard as well.
I believe she would have led me by the hand and introduced me to them all.
We parted, and as I drove back towards my front porch, I tried to absorb what had just happened.
Magic: plain and simple.