Is it cheap thrill or a moment of magic?

I had my students completely confused when I started the class with an explanation of two different but contrasting moments in life. I told the youngsters that how a moment of magic can be so different from a moment of cheap thrill.
A moment of complete magic comes when you see a tiny ant running off with a dry leaf or a butterfly landing gracefully on a rose. I also told them we all are capable of magic and we don’t have to pull a rabbit from an old hat to prove it. We get these moments of inspiration all the time but often we look the other way when they happen.
There are many of them if one adopts the right attitude. For example, I was forced to look up when a bird’s droppings landed on my neck. It was disgusting and the creature responsible for it was a large blue and grey seagull perched on a branch of a tree.
When I looked up, it spread its wings and fluttered its tail in a show of defiance. The bird knew I could not do anything about it. Moments later, I was mesmerised when he flew away with its powerful wings making a circle over my head and disappeared behind a line of trees.
The bird left me to wipe out its dropping but I was not angry anymore. It allowed me to be an audience of a rare spectacle that we normally don’t see as we get busy in our daily life.
The other day, while I was bored waiting at the reception for a meeting, something attracted my attention just a metre away from me. A tiny spider was weaving its web around a straw that was inside a plastic glass. Less than a minute later, the whiteness of the straw completely disappeared covered by the grayness of the web. I think the spider, as bored as I was, thought of weaving a sock around the straw just to keep itself busy.
Back to my class, I told the youngsters there are no dull moments for a fertile mind. I guess I was in the mood of planting seeds of creativity in their minds. Then I challenged them to record events in their diaries that normally no one would bother about.
When they asked me “like what”, I told them just stay close to the nature and look somewhere “nobody would look”.
They scratched their heads and said nothing. A week later, when I had forgotten about it, one of them came to my office and showed me a video on his mobile phone. He caught a palm tree ‘glazed’ with sunshine as the leaves danced in the morning air. I was delighted that he took the time for it. However, I had to know more. I asked him what the video meant to him.
And he said, “Kind of life that we don’t normally see.”
I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Take more videos to keep yourself educated about your surroundings.”
What I should have told him is that simple moments of magic are free. They are meaningless for many because normally nobody really cares about the crimson light on the horizon at sunset or the reflection of the full moon on the sea. We care about how much money we can make or what kind of revenge we should take on one another. We clutter our minds with so much malice that we forget to live a simple life.

saleh al shaibany
saleh_shaibany@yahoo.com