All that Glisters is Not Gold, but If It’s Shiny It’s Good Enough for Me

Miss Magpie here, reporting for duty. I have been out and about doing errands and chores, being an everyday sort of person in my everyday sort of way, but as always, I am in a constant state of watchfulness, snapping to attention at the slightest glimmer of a sun-ray zinging off the corner of the windscreen, the flicker of movement that snags my eye (ouch!) on a brilliant yellow weed wildflower (and yes, Steve, it was tiny but beautiful), the broad gleam of a hawk’s white underside lighting up like a beacon as he banks away from the sun over our ravine.

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Some things, like this golden gilt cockerel weathervane, are clearly made to dazzle us . . .

While I harbor my exceedingly childlike admiration for the wonderful works of intentional glamor and glitz without any hesitation, I am all the more moved by those things that through their very nature or some moment of perfect serendipity become jeweled treasures to be savored every bit as deeply and wildly. The crinkled aluminum foil from last week’s roast (seen here) becomes in my eyes a stolen bit from the vault of the Crown Jewels; the bottom of an empty jar and its creased shadow on rough concrete is transformed into an alchemist’s beaker bearing a mystical, nearly invisible elixir for eternal romance.

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One sip, and I am transformed into an otherworldly being . . .

Even the most mundane of things can–and should–be able to become beautiful to one with a practiced magpie eye. Thankfully, those around me have patience while I crouch at the curb picking up bits of broken glass and shreds of steel that have fallen off of passing vehicles (probably spaceships, to be sure), while I lag behind on a walk to pick up opalescent beetle-wing shields and bent pins and uselessly blunted coins. And the smallest scrap of Japanese tea-chest paper or damaged disposable pie tin or leftover curling ribbon, the parts from a broken watch, keys and candy-wrappers and bits of metallic thread–these have no need of monetary weight, if they can spur the heart to visit places it’s not gone before.

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The value of shiny and golden things is not always intrinsic but arises from what can be imagined about them, dreamed about them, hoped . . .