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The magic of notebooks – and teaching

I’m often teased for my love of the word ‘magic’, but that’s because I’m a believer. When I speak of magic, I’m not referring to rabbits out of hats (though I’m open to that!); I mean those wonderful moments that set off a spark our hearts because we can’t quite believe how beautiful life can be. Funnily enough, it’s sometimes the small things that cause the greatest sparks.

The other day I wrote about a tiny notebook my husband gave me when I was pregnant with our first daughter, Tennessee Skye, and how I’d write letters to her before she was even born. Reading the notebook the other day I found a reference to how, if she had a brother one day, we wanted to have ‘Walden’ in his name. Five years later – with that entry long forgotten – we have a little boy called Willoughby Walden Macgregor.

Well, the magic didn’t end there. An old student of mine who was in a dorm I ran in a girls school in England saw my post and got in touch. She now works for Smythson, the company that makes these beautiful notebooks, and asked whether she could send me one for my latest writing ideas. She also mentioned that a book club I ran for her and her friends in the dorm has led to her being part of a book club with some of those same girls in London, who are now working and in their twenties. If that’s not magical, I don’t know what is! And, of course, true to her word, Sophie sent the notebook and it arrived yesterday.

For me, magic is another word for connection. One of my favourite authors, E.M. Forster, wrote: ‘Only Connect’ and it’s one of my go-to mantras for just about everything in life from friendship to writing to family. Somehow, that tiny notebook my husband gave six years ago, connected me to this new life in America, to our now third child, Willoughby Walden and then back to a time in my life when hadn’t yet met my husband and taught and nurtured an awesome group of teenage girls.

I’d love to hear about some of the magical connections in your life – do look out for them: you’ll be blown away by how beautiful the fabric of life can be.