The man with the silver cane

Last week, it was Valborg. There we were, entranced by the fire: faces toasty hot; backs chilly in the cold of the evening.

He was standing next to us: an old man with a face whose map showed each mountain range climbed, each river sailed upon and each new path explored. The wrinkles spoke of adventure and spirit as did his twinkling eyes.

His child-like spirit shone through, diminishing his age as gnarled hands rested on the silver-topped cane. The spellbound kids listened as he told us wild tales of how – back in the 1960s – he had stood on this same spot in a snowstorm,  and with snow higher than the tops of his boots, as they lit the bonfire and sung songs about spring.

“It was a crazy year!” he declared laughing.

When I asked him if his cane was magic, he said that yes, it was. Inside the mundane exterior, he kept his magic wand. He didn’t use it every day, but took it out to spread magic around on special occasions.

I came to think of how this old man was just like his cane: an ordinary old man on the outside, with a heart of gold and wondrous tales to tell on the inside.

That is, after all, the magic and beauty of life, don’t you think?

25 responses

  1. What an experience … and what a photo. That last photo is amazing!


    May 6, 2010 at 02:58

  2. I can see he worked his magic that night, Fi – what a wonderful bonfire!


    May 6, 2010 at 03:15

  3. deb

    yes, it most certainly it.


    May 6, 2010 at 03:46

  4. Beautiful. There is no doubt that there’s magic in these images.


    May 6, 2010 at 04:17

  5. Oh he was a wizard, then of course there was magic!! Beautiful images..both the photos and the words..the 1960’s..people are telling tales from back then already..gosh I am getting old:)


    May 6, 2010 at 06:57

  6. Sheer delight on all the senses.
    You are magic, Fi!


    May 6, 2010 at 07:05

  7. lilalia

    Thank you very much for sharing this tale with us. How wonderful when you meet someone like this man and can recall the magic of him to the children in years to come.


    May 6, 2010 at 07:39

  8. Great photos: I can virtually feel the heat and hear the crackling of the fire.


    May 6, 2010 at 08:58

  9. A special brand of Scandinavian magic


    May 6, 2010 at 10:40

  10. What a warm, life-affirming post – I simply loved the description you gave of this delightful character, but I also suspect like attracts like (wink). Magical!


    May 6, 2010 at 11:00

  11. Magical yes — and I love when characters” share their stories. But I gotta’ tell you that the post has me looking to see how gnarled my hands are — since I was alive well and quite grown up already back there in the 60s! (I looked — they are kinda’ gnarly ;>)


    May 6, 2010 at 12:23

  12. yes, it is. I would love to meet this man and listen….


    May 6, 2010 at 14:27

  13. Fabulous when you meet people like this. There is a nonagenarian in our village who lived all her life here. And boy was it tough. When I feel hard done by I take her some eggs and listen to her stories. A tiny, wizened, crone on the outside, but a fountain of inspiration within.


    May 6, 2010 at 14:42

  14. I bet your kids will be thinking of this old man for a long time to come. Looks magical, your pics!


    May 6, 2010 at 15:00

  15. What a wonderful experience. A true storyteller can cast magic where-ever he goes!


    May 6, 2010 at 15:30

  16. Yes, I do agree! Love that last shot.


    May 6, 2010 at 16:38

  17. he must have had something to do with that magical bonfire! What a picture!!!!


    May 6, 2010 at 17:36

  18. Maybe he really did have magic in the hidden inside cane – just as you had magic in your camera when you took these amazing photos.


    May 6, 2010 at 17:45

  19. A magic story and magically told.


    May 6, 2010 at 23:50

  20. Beautiful photos!! Such a magical tale!! How fun to experience a night of glorious stories around a bonfire. Simply wondrous!
    Congrats on your POTW


    May 12, 2010 at 11:58

  21. Magic is in the heart of the listener or in our case, the reader. Congrats on your POTW.


    May 12, 2010 at 14:34

  22. Congrats on the POTW mention from Hilary .. you have a great blog!


    May 12, 2010 at 16:01

  23. congrats on the POTW
    love the man with the silver cane


    May 13, 2010 at 01:15

  24. Well written post and excellent photos, too. Congrats on Post of the Week!


    May 13, 2010 at 02:57

  25. Maggie May

    Very well written and lovely photos.
    Congrats on POTW over at Hilary’s.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May


    May 13, 2010 at 23:37

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