There Will Be No Miracles Here

March 19th, 2010


There will be no miracles here.

There will be no particular moment when the trumpet sounds, or when the scales fall from your eyes. You will not win the lottery. You will not wake up richer or more beautiful.

Jenny brushes the hair from Dylan’s eyes. He’s only four, but he has strong ideas about haircuts (No) and about her touching his hair (No!). So she does it when he falls asleep on her lap.

It’s late, and she ought to put him to bed, but she lets him rest with her on the couch for a little while longer. It’s just the two of them, like it always is, and he fell asleep watching Blue’s Clues on DVD, like he always does. But she knows that this “always” won’t last.

She hums a little tune to him as she smoothes his hair with the back of her hand.

We wait for epiphanies that don’t come. We think that someone will walk up to us one day and grant us permission to start living the lives we were always supposed to be living. We wait in vain.

Conor fell asleep in his dorm room with his paperback of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich still clasped in his hand. He had to read it for class, no one was around to talk to, and the roommate was spending the night at the girlfriend’s, so Conor thought he’d start in on the book as a way to fall asleep.

He stayed up to finish it. Before he was done, his eyes were red.

We need no miracles here.

Claude was an old man and he had been married to Doreen for a long time. When his grandchildren asked him, “Gampy, how long have you and Gammy been married?,” he always told them “A long time — but not long enough yet.”

Gammy’s in the bed now, but Claude can’t sleep. Doesn’t want to sleep. He’s slept away enough of his minutes with Doreen. He wants to be awake for the rest of them.

An hour ago, the nurse said, “She won’t need me again,” laid her hand on his arm, and then went out to wait in the hall.

He doesn’t want her to come back. He wants her to come back.

The miracles around us are ongoing.


(Photo by Amy Palko, used under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.)

Leave a Reply