by Jaime Castle
During my early twenties, I was a high school teacher and worked part time at a trendy restaurant on the weekends. My restaurant boss was quite the character. He had immigrated here from Thailand and was thoroughly enjoying his new-found success. The recent riots in the downtown area had brought night-goers and their money north to revel in the safe haven of Hyde Park. My boss bought himself a sporty new luxury car and had a large collection of different expensive sunglasses and watches. He had an abundance of new friends who would cozy up to him and thus collect their complimentary glass of champagne. It was a fun time for us workers too, to see the local ballplayers come in, and to have our boss be in a such a good and generous mood.
One day as I arrived in to set up for dinner service, I noticed that he was sitting at our sparkly little bar, back to the front door, alone in contemplation. He was wearing a white track suit with a matching big white watch and gold sunglasses. His arms were crossed as were his legs and he was smoking a cigarette and nodding his head back in forth, looking very bemused. He caught my movement along with another girl who had walked in behind me and called us over to him. “Tell me,” he started in all seriousness. My friend and I were wide eyed in anticipation of what he could possibly ask. “If you saw a car with the license plate MAGICGUY would you think that was cool?”
The question was strange and neither I nor my friend could reflect and answer quick enough as he continued, “I mean…MAGIC GUY!? Who thinks that that is going to score him any points?” He continued with this line of wonder, speaking out loud to himself as we slowly backed away, laughing softly. He probably thought that we were laughing in agreement, but more it was funny that he would take such offense.
I tell you about this brief moment in my life, so that you may know a little bit more about me as I hope to learn more about all of you and where you have come from. But also, I recently have been finding myself contemplating what is “Magic!”
I wonder if Magic Guy was just that, a guy that could do magic tricks to please the crowd and make children smile? Or maybe he was someone who, after contemplation and reflection on the world around him and all its wonder, had discovered that he, and everyone and everything, was filled with magic?
Having two young children, the theme of magic often comes up in their books and films to add brighter color to their world. The magic is not hidden but is called out and realized and celebrated. It is easy to see magic when you are young, but somewhere along the way, we can lose sight of it. But I’m seeing it again. It is on the darkest nights that the stars shine the brightest. This place, our church home of Heritage, is filled with bright stars and magic. Call it Spirit or Divine or anything else. It is inside me and you and is all around us. As I enter this year of service as The Board of Trustees President, my aim is to continue to foster the love and feelings of community that are so magical to me here! I will lead fearlessly and love hard.
Lastly, THANK YOU to Donna Buckley for serving as such a true and loving leader and mentor to me and for all that you have given and continue to give to your Heritage family!