Trail magic is when you find something you need or suddenly someone is there with food and water or even an ice cold beer. It’s incongruous things that seem to be provided magically. “The trail provides” is an oft bit of shared hiker wisdom, but I think it’s really life that provides. If “provide” is the right word, really. It’s just that on the trail the need that is provided for is seen so clearly for what it is, it doesn’t get lost in the chaos that is most people’s day to day struggle. But trail magic happens all the time.
The other day I had misplaced my keys. As I was searching for them, I found a letter that had fallen under a table. A letter I needed because it contained key information about a project I was working on. Immediately after finding the letter, I found my keys. Coincidence or “trail magic”?
I could probably come up with a list of these kind of serendipitous moments, but really, they’ve become so common place I just go “ahah!” then move on with my day. However, their common place-ness doesn’t detract from their wow factor. They are for me the exception that proves the rule, with the rule being, life is an amazing and magical place. We are here to remember our connection to the magic, the universe, the “god-ness” of it all. These little markers are our verification that that kind of energy exists and we are a part of it.
The above painting is from the day after my own magical day on the PCT. The day I met Mowgli and Raven and blissfully walked from the Minnie Scott Spring to this exact spot. I set up my tent just outside of the above image and took the snapshot first thing in the morning as I got back on the PCT. South Sister was indeed that blue in the morning and I was full of joy and happiness as I made my way to Mirror Lake.
It seemed fitting that it was my very first painting after I returned home from the trail and this seems exactly like the best spot to leave it in my running commentary/transcription of my trail journals. I still have a few more days to put together, sadly however, I recently lost most of my photos from the last leg of my journey. A crappy SD card is to blame, but I managed to upload some images to the cloud so I am still able to illustrate my journey. For now, I thought the painting would do, along with a reminder that trail magic is all around. It doesn’t exist solely on the trail. You just have to notice that it can be anything from a stranger’s smile to that $20 you found when you were hungry.