A World Of Magic


The last white peony, a late bloomer amongst its sisters, has flowered during the night. A bud when last I saw it, it has gradually unfurled its slender petals and now opens its golden heart to the sun.

Yesterday, a bud,

It has opened in the night

This white peony.

“Everything in the world is magic,” says Yuri in Yuri’s Brush With Magic, “if you have eyes to see and a heart to feel.” It sounded simple enough when I wrote the lines, but now I have to admit that reality is more complicated. True, there is a lot of magic in the world. Trees are magical. Roses are, too, and the white stars of clematis. So are sunsets and the first birdsong just before the dawn, and even those voracious caterpillars that munch up my parsley so that they can morph into elegant butterflies. So are… but the list goes on forever.

Given that nature is full of wonders, the problem arises when we get to the bit about the eyes and heart. As we hurry about to work or on errands or force ourselves to begin a chore, neither heart nor eyes are concentrating on beauty, much less magic. More likely we stare at traffic or try to remember a grocery list left behind on the kitchen table or mentally go over a presentation that has to be made at 9:00 this morning, or gnash our teeth because The Child has once again forgotten his lunch and needs rescue. I have forgotten that grocery list, tried to concentrate on that presentation and chased down those children, so I know. Time flies, and so do we.

But the peony opens anyway.

It neither cares whether I am there to admire it nor worries about schedules. It will bloom out its fragrant heart and then in the fullness of time let its petals drop and concentrate on being a seed pod.

Seeds are high up on my magic scale. Consider; a miniscule thing no bigger than a comma goes into the earth there to lie dormant until some command implanted into its tiny seed-brain awakens it. Down go roots, up comes a shoot that has never seen the sun before but knows that it’s what is wanted. It really doesn’t matter whether the shoot is going to be a weed or a flower… the whole process seems amazing to me. And, anyway, some weeds can be pretty wonderful.

The other day I knelt down to tie my shoe and spotted a tiny weed-flower. It was hiding behind a tuft of grass, and I would never have even known it was there had I remained standing. But there it was— bravely staking out its place in the Universe, a miniature white star, alone, unique, and in its humble way completely magical.

Small white flower blooms

Amongst tangle of tall grass…

Not a weed… a star!


About Maureen C. Wartski

I’m Maureen Wartski, writer, artist, wife, mother, grandmother; you can see that I have many of the bases covered. I was born in Ashiya, Japan, a (then) small town which lay cradled between sea and mountains. In the evenings, we would walk along the road that ran past Osaka Bay, and a great moon would rise out of the water to turn the world to silver. I’m told that my first words were, “Big moon!” All my life I have felt the tug to write something, draw something, put together something with fabric, string and color, and the urge to create has grown through the years. I suppose, then, that it’s a natural thing that this blog be full of the things that so many of you enjoy doing…drawing, making something with fabric, and writing. Yuri's Brush with Magic, my newest book for middle schoolers follows the adventures of a brother and sister, the magic of words, and the incredible magic of the natural world. I'd love to hear from you! You can send me a note at: maureen@wartski.org/ My blog is here: https://maureenwartski.wordpress.com/ Or friend me on Facebook!

2 responses »

  1. Hi Maureen,

    Magic indeed! A star went unnoticed until your discovery and now it is known across the internet.

    Linda A.

    • You know, I remembered Tennyson’s verse from MAUD:

      “A violet by a moss stone
      half hidden from the eye…
      fair as a star when only one
      is shining in the sky.”

      The little white flower was something like that….


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