Friday, December 5, 2008

The Magic French Feather

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Children should be indulged and allowed to believe in things magical; and even older kids, like you and me, could do with finding a little magic in our lives.

Upon hearing that I would be going to Paris, a friend and co-worker, asked me to visit the
Musée Rodin for him and tell him about it upon my return. He was an artist working with me at his day job and had only read of Paris. How sad, an artist who had never been to Paris.

Tall Husband and I were strolling through the gardens of
Musée Rodin, having just toured the beautiful 18th century Hôtel Biron, the house where the sculptor Rodin had been allowed by the French Government to live out his life, under the condition that he leave his works to the state upon his death. I was memorizing all that I saw so that I could report back to my friend, since I never traveled with a camera in those days. As I looked at the sculptures, I anguished over the paucity of items at the museum's gift shop. Plus, nothing they had compared with the importance this place held for my friend. I said aloud, more to myself than to Tall Husband, "What could I possibly take back to Jim?" With that, a pigeon feather drifted from the sky, brushed my nose then landed in my gesturing hand.

When I returned to work, I gave the feather to Jim, telling him that it was magic and he was to make a secret wish while holding it. He put the feather over his desk and never mentioned if he had made a wish or not.

A short time later, Jim came into my therapy room with a big smile on his face and an old French grammar book in his hand. "I have a gift for you," he announced and handed the book to me. "You see, I made a wish on your French feather; I wished that my wife and I could be in Paris. The feather worked! Yesterday I was awarded a commission to do a large religious sculpture for a local church. The money I'll earn from that piece will make my wish come true. Thank you!"

So my artist friend and his wife went off to Paris that summer and came back with their own magical stories.

Another coincidence: The author of the book that Jim had given me was a Professor of Romance Languages and Head of the Department, in the early 1900's, at the University of Minnesota. This is the university where my daughter was later accepted for work on graduate degrees in French, and my son-in-law was accepted for law school. They both have doctorates from the University of Minnesota. So Jim, was your little antique book also magic?

1 comment:

  1. What a great story! Isn't that museum great?! I wish I were there now!