A old friend just left a message for me. We haven’t spoken in a year or so, but I treasure her. At the end of her message she said, “What a charmed life you lead, Micah.” I thought about this for a little while. I agree my life is charmed, but why? Is that just some lucky people’s lot? Some people toil and fret while others flit about with joy and ease? I don’t think so. I mean I don’t think that’s the way it has to be,though at times it appears as though that’s the way it is. This doesn’t make sense to me. I think we are all capable of living a charmed life, but it depends on how we charm life. I mean charm as engaging and loving life, not deceiving it. I view living as a game that has elements of predetermination as well as complete surprise. All are variables, but how we choose to engage and utilize them is the surprise. As frequently as I can I strive to court life, like a lover I’m flirting with. Life becomes an entity with a character and personality and I practice charming it, like the flautist and the King Cobra. Sometimes life is as dangerous as the snake, sometimes it’s as gentle and as lulling as the music. I heard once that the only distinction between an enlightened being and one who struggles is their response to challenge. If we play with challenge, if we remember to laugh even when life becomes difficult, the universe can’t help but echo the laughter back. Suddenly we have charmed our way into a more graceful existence. I have also heard there are only two responses to any given situation, not matter how difficult– amazement and amusement. Both are charming responses. Not that we don’t have to meander through a messy host of human emotion first, but at the end we will either be amazed (awe struck) or amused. They both inspire me to keep playing and charming the socks off the universe. Summer is a natural time to play. Raise the stakes and charm the snakes!!