Magic (and finding it outside of fiction)

“That’s the thing with magic. You’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.” – Folk musician and story teller, Charles de Lint

This song came on my iPod the other day. It’s by the Police and the chorus starts off like this: “Every little thing she does is magic…” And I thought, “really? Every little thing?” That’s what it says. Every. Little. Thing.

No way.

Clearly the relationship is new. If he had been dating her more than a few days there would be something (at least a little something) that would bother him, get under his skin, drive him crazy. That’s just how it goes, isn’t it? We think things are magical and then discover that it was only smoke and mirrors. Or perfume and make-up. And then the spell wears off and we realize we’ve got some work to do. Some flaws to overlook. Some patience to show. Some mistakes to forgive.

What happened to the magic?

I’ve been watching the Harry Potter movies with my son. I resisted this for a long time. Actually, it wasn’t so much as resistance as it was a total lack of interest, but in the last few weeks I finally sat down and watched the first couple of movies with him. He’s ten and he is completely swept up in Harry Potter fever. He and everyone else in the world. People love magic. It sells. Whether it’s journeying to Narnia, following the Yellow Brick road to Oz, fighting off Orcs in Middle Earth, or competing for the House Cup at Hogwart’s, we love the mystical and magical worlds we find in movies and books. Because fiction is the only way (outside of Disney World) that we can experience magical things.

Or is it?

Maybe there are magical things and experiences everywhere, but we’re too busy or too cynical to notice them. Maybe there’s magic happening all around us that we take for granted. Maybe if we were more in tune and aware, we’d realize that the reason we don’t see magic in our lives is the same reason we don’t see magic in our girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse — our perspective has been altered and skewed by disappointment and the reality of life’s difficulties. Maybe the potential for magic is still there if we can learn to conquer our cynicism and fear.

What do you think? Are there things that are magical that we ignore or overlook? What are  some examples?

Over the next few days I’m going to be sharing some things that are magical that we take for granted. Will you join me?

Tomorrow: Animals that can talk (and the magic of words)

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