A couple of ordinary birds perch on one of the many rather design-challenged, late 20th Century street lamps that illuminate neighborhoods all over this country. These aren't the sort of birds that prompt people get out binoculars or guidebooks. (Or cameras.) But when my 3 year old daughter spotted them the other day, she said, "Look at those shiny birds sitting up there! How did they get so way up high? It's like magic!" And when you think about it -- really and truly think about it --it IS like magic. We've just gotten so used to everyday wonder, we no longer notice the thrill of simple miracles. Like shiny birds in flight. Or electric lights. Or deep blue skies.
In 1938, Thorton Wilder introduced Our Town -- a masterpiece of simplicity about two families experiencing everyday magic and universal human truths that are part of being alive on planet earth. Most of us have seen or read (or performed in a high school production of) the play. It's a thoughtful meditation about the theme of realizing life as you live it. It's about recognizing wonderful, ordinary things. (Like shiny, magic birds on a streetlamp.)
As Emily Webb says toward the end of the play, “Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”