Daily Miracles
Robert Fulghum


My grandfather Sam called me up last Tuesday to ask me if I'd take him to a football game.  Grandfather likes small-town high school football--and even better, the eight-man ball played by crossroads teams.  Grandfather is a fan of amateurs and small scale.  Some people are concerned about how it is that good things happen to bad people, and there are those concerned about how bad things happen to good people.  But my grandfather is interested in those times when miracles happen to ordinary people.  Here again, he likes small scale.

When a nothing team full of nothing kids from a nothing town rises up with nothing to lose against some upmarket suburban outfit with new uniforms, and starts chucking hail-Mary bombs from their own goal line, and their scrawny freshman tight end catches three in a row to win the game--well, it does your heart good.

Murphy's Law does not always hold, says Grandfather Sam.  Every once in a while the fundamental laws of the universe seem to be momentarily suspended, and not only does everything go right, nothing seems to be able to keep it from going right.  It's not always something as dramatic as the long bomb or the slam-dunk that wins ball games.

Ever drop a glass in the sink when you're washing dishes and have it bounce nine times and not even chip?  Ever come out after work to find your lights have been on all day and your battery's dead but you're parked on a hill and you let your old hoopy roll and it fires the first time you pop the clutch and off you roar with a high heart?  Ever pull out that drawer in your desk that has a ten-year accumulation of junk in it--pull it too far and too fast--and just as it's about to vomit its contents all over the room you get a knee under it and stagger back hopping on one foot doing a balancing act like the Great Zucchini and you don't lose it?  A near-miss at an intersection; the glass of knocked-over milk that waltzes across the table but doesn't spill; the deposit that beat your rubber check to the bank because there was a holiday you forgot about; the lump in your breast that turned out to be benign; the heart attack that turned out to be gas; picking the right lane for once in a traffic jam; opening the door of your car with a coat hanger through the wing window on the first try.  And on and on and on and on.

When small miracles occur for ordinary people, day by ordinary day.  When not only did the worst not happen, but maybe nothing much happened at all, or some little piece fell neatly into place.  The grace of what-might-have- been-but wasn't, and it was good to get off scot-free for once.  The ecstasy of what-could-never-happen-but-did, and it was grand to have beat the odds against for a change.  Or the bliss of just what-was-for-a-day when nothing special took place--life just worked.

My grandfather says he blesses God each day when he takes himself off to bed having eaten and not having been eaten once again.  "Now I lay me down to sleep.  In the peace of amateurs, for whom so many blessings flow.  I thank you, God, for what went right!  Amen."

Now, seven million copies later, Fulghum returns to the book that was embraced around the world. He has written a new preface and twenty-five essays, which add even more potency to a common, though no less relevant, piece of wisdom: that the most basic aspects of life bear its most important opportunities.

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Now seeds are just dimes to the man in the store
And the dimes are the things that he needs,
And I've been to buy them in seasons before
But have thought of them merely as seeds;
But it flashed through my mind as I took them this time,
"You purchased a miracle here for a dime."

Edgar Albert Guest



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You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one.
Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its
own.  It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.

Paulo Coelho