The miracle of birth is a wonder of creation. There have been many circumstances labelled miraculous throughout world history. We don’t need to be religious thinkers to put weight on things that amaze us. Awe is everywhere.
Survival stories of car crashes, natural disasters or medical recoveries are often cited as miracles. My mom was a local track star in her early teens, following the sport into her adulthood. In August, 1954, a ‘Miracle Mile’ was run by Roger Bannister, beating the unimaginable time of four minutes. Stories of that Vancouver, Commonwealth Games record event were still being printed in Canadian newspapers when I immigrated to Canada later that fall.
I believe in miracles when I feel deserving or hopeful, yet everyday miracles may be just happenstance that end up making a great story that we can tell others as we age. I can’t quite get my head around the idea of finding a life long romantic partner. Mutual love is unfathomable. Is it fated when we find a soulmate? Couples will gasp, “It’s a miracle that we found each other!” Even that character Rick of Casablanca seemed awestruck,”Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Barry Manilow wrote a song about the wonder of it all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wc-2F3VDs2w
On the day my mother died I lost my wedding ring. The death had been coming for a while, the loss made a bad day worse. After my wife and I got the call from the nursing home, we raced there to watch as she took her last breath. The nurse was notified, procedures ensued. The attendants couldn’t get her ring off, so I managed the job with a dab of cream. It was then I noticed that my ring wasn’t on my finger. A search began that alerted all staff, covering the whole building, including refuse bins, and outside all around the parking lot. I had to come back the next day to sign certificates and such and the search continued. I checked the car, my house, my clothing: No luck. Was this a weird cosmic thing where rings are traded in an alternate universe? Was there something here requiring a return to psychotherapy? Was it a lesson in grief? Was this someone’s idea of a joke? About a week later I went to pick up my mom’s ashes. I put the container on a shelf in my shed and decided to do a small clean-up. I repositioned things and moved my recycling boxes so I could sweep the floor. The broom made its swishing sound as it found leaves, bits of string, plastic bottle tops, then something heavier. I knew instantly what it was. I picked up my lost wedding ring and held it tightly in total disbelief. I called my wife. We cried with the miracle of it all.
Sometimes it’s a struggle to get up in the morning: Bones creak, muscles are stiff, phlegm must be cleared. Life is a miracle.