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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

A Kind of Magicness


Last night, several other passengers and I slowly shuffled down the long jetway to board my plane to Illinois, a young, 20-something dropped his book, scrambled to pick it up and cram it into his backpack. In the process of doing this, a pair of his underwear fell out, unnoticed by him, at the feet of the young Indian man in front of me who politely said, “Excuse me…” while gesturing awkwardly at the underwear. I did what any 42-year old woman on her way to her 25th high school reunion would do: Laughed. The young underwear owner snapped them up, face flaming, and crammed them in his bag. And then said, “Well. That’s embarrassing.” Which made me laugh louder. The Indian man seemed unamused.

Landing at O’Hare always feels like reuniting with an old and now distant acquaintance. It’s at once familiar and yet not as it’s been a while since our paths crossed. But immediately, memories float to the surface, unbidden. I recall flying out of there back in 1992, jetting off to basic training. Trips to visit family and friends in Illinois, both while enlisted and afterwards.

It feels like the further west you go across the country, the pace shifts downwards, just a notch at a time. Travel east, and you’re adjusting the gears to make the climb and to keep up. IthinkIcanIthinkIcan Today, we went to the grocery store and when we were leaving, I saw a guy loading the back of his car with cartons of canned soda. Somehow, he lost his grip on one of the cartons which busted open in the lot sending sodas rolling. Another shopper, who had been backing up to leave, put his car in park & hopped out to assist the man. Another woman who’d been sitting in her car joined the soda rodeo. All I could think of was that I can’t imagine this same scene playing out in the northeast.

Now that school, vacation and our recent party are over, I've had the space to breathe. Illinois gave me that space today even though I was working from here. I had the time to set up this website (and I welcome your feedback with open arms) to support some news goals I've set for myself.

The cicada chorus is so loud here. Another familiarity of the Midwest. A soundtrack I didn’t even realize was absent in my life until the cicadas roared their loud and constant greeting.

“There is a kind of magicness about going far away and then coming back all changed.” - Kate Douglas Wiggin, New Chronicles of Rebecca


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