Ordinary miracles

This photo is from last year just after Kai arrived here.

This photo is from last year just after Kai arrived here.

Is the phrase ordinary miracles inherently contradictory? Is it an oxymoron?

Experience has taught me that ordinary miracles are the best kind. I am learning that miracles are daily occurrences and that they are launched by ordinary people like me and my friends.

People my age saw the Red Sea parted in the 1956 movie, The Ten Commandments. It established the premise that miracles were the domain of Charleton Heston playing an Old Testament Moses. That was the world view in the 1950s. The miracle wasn’t even real. It was done in PhotoShop, or some equivalent software of the day. Miracles are about software?

I photographed Enakai’s first birthday celebration on Saturday. My friend Yuri adopted this child in the Marshall Islands because, unlike the United States, the islands deem it more important to provide a child with a loving parent than to forbid adoption by a single parent. The wisdom that resides in the Marshall Islands is a miracle. Yuri’s generous spirit and courage are also miraculous.

I wrote a blog post yesterday that contained some lamentation and weeping on my part. My friend Beth responded.

I said,

I always wanted to be singled out and recognized for some imaginary virtue that I think I possess.

She responded:

You have been. You apparently haven’t noticed, or the sources of the recognition haven’t met your expectations.

I’ve seen you praised repeatedly (and I’ve done some of it myself) for your fabulous photographs, for your ability to produce arresting results. That praise recognizes your creativity, your artistry, your insight, and your heart. I’ve also seen you commended for generosity and acceptance and authenticity. Those are substantial virtues, in my view.

I put Beth’s kindness on the shelf where I place my trophies so I can admire it often. Thank you, Beth!

A friend asked me to photograph her in a way that would display her beauty and sexuality. That is one of my favorite assignments. How many people are given such an assignment? I am truly blessed. This could slip into the miracle zone quite easily as far as I am concerned. Yes, it’s miracle-worthy.

My friend Rod Sparks and his wife Jane will spend some time with us in February. Rod and I met in the Marine Corps in 1966. He has been in Tucson before along with my Marine Corps buddy Ron Lahody, and I have been a guest in Rod’s home in Arkansas on several occasions. Who can deny that is a miracle?

miracle: a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency

In this age of gloom and doom I think we should learn to appreciate the full range of miracles, not just the parting of the Red Sea kind of Hollywood miracle. Let us celebrate all miracles however local they may be. I suggest that we all consider ourselves divine. That makes us eligible to create and to celebrate miracles.

Beth Montes

Beth Montes

Witnessing the bond between Yuri and Kai is miraculous. I am so very blessed. Thanks, Beth, for the reminder.

We are taught that miracles come from a source outside of us. I have moved past that. We all can make miracles, and we should.

I drove to Kai’s party and passed a man working a median strip in the hopes of receiving some money from motorists. It was cold and raining. He was still there two hours later when I drove home and it was still raining. I gave him ten dollars and said God bless. He said, “Thank you sir.” Our need for miracles is enormous. Let’s get on with it, and let’s recognize that all of us produce miracles.

The greatest miracle of all is believing we are real. It was the theme of that classic movie, Miracle on 34th Street. In the film a department store santa said he was the real item. It’s a sweet movie.

The world will be saved when enough of us come to appreciate our own validity and our ability to create miracles. Even hugs from sweet people are miracles.

I’m old enough now to respect miracles and the ability to create them. You all have that ability. That is the lesson I have learned. I am grateful to everyone who reads this post. Your presence here is a miracle to me.






One thought on “Ordinary miracles

  1. Even in the darkest of days your words of wisdom and sincerity reminds me that there is still hope in this very unkind world. Thank you Dan- you are very much a miracle. ;0)

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