Thesis: What we commonly think of as Miracles, are mere
Synchronicities, felicitous accidents, startling coincidences;
Whereas that which we call common is actually miraculous.
Whoa; let’s approach this slowly from the side, as we would
Edge up shy and careful to a sleeping wolverine. Wolverines
Are good to start with, come to think of it—I mean, consider
A wolverine carefully. A whopping big one weighs less than
Half the dogs you know, not to mention those two obese cats,
Yet bears and cougars and even the most stupendously stupid
Men back away from wolverines. They have been revered by
People who know them well for years beyond counting. They
Own their place. They were designed by immeasurable years.
There are only a few of them, compared to, for example, ants.
Are they not miraculous? Do they not inspire a reverent awe?
Can any of us make any of those? No? Can it be that miracles
Are things which we cannot comprehend or construct? Hawks,
Elk, porpoises, children, damselflies, quasars—the list cannot
Ever end, because every time we discover something, we also
Discover more that we don’t know yet, isn’t that certainly so?
So that which is miraculous is quotidian. While the occasional
Inexplicable recovery, the avoidance of death and mayhem by
The thinnest of margins, that only happens on occasion, right?
So because it isn’t quotidian, perhaps it isn’t a miracle. Listen,
I know your brain is buzzling right about now—it’s happening
To me too. But the thought that miracles are normal, isn’t that
The cool thought of the day? Let’s remember that until dinner,
You and me, and then savor the miracles with whom we dine.

Brian Doyle

Brian Doyle was editor of Portland magazine at the University of Portland and the author of Leaping: Revelations and Epiphanies, A Shimmer of Something: Lean Stories of Spiritual Substance, and Chicago, a novel.

All articles »