The holidays always remind me of the importance and power of magic. Oh to be happily enchanted like a child over the holidays.
As the Easter Bunny hopped through our house, it left not only a bunch of hidden chocolate eggs, but it left smiles on my children’s faces. Some of that glow and wonder spread to all the adults overseeing the tricky hunt, showing me once again that joy can be as contagious as the flu.
Parents who still believe in magic work hard to protect traditions such as the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa himself. It’s a lot of work to get kids to leave Santa the right treats and notes, then leave partially eaten snacks, and write notes back to him in a different handwriting (not to mention those extremists who spread reindeer dust the night before, or make reindeer footprints in the snow, and/or avoid using the same wrapping paper to wrap their gifts as Santa). An increasing number of questions have to be fielded each year about Santa’s ways: “Mom, our new house doesn’t have a chimney, how will he get in with our presents?” And answers have to be more elaborate so that the magic grows instead of dissipates.
Luckily, magic doesn’t only exist in commercial moments. Smiles and wonder pop when Grandpa pulls a coin from behind someone’s ear. A favourite friend uses “the force” to move a Star Wars fan’s chair toward a table using an unseen foot to pull them, captivating the young Jedi with masterful hand motions above the table, to complete the ‘Dagoban’ spell spectacularly.
Let’s not forget the magic of memories: how powerfully a smell can conjure us back in time and space to our mother’s kitchen or a far-away land, or how laughter erupts from seeing a nostalgic photograph and promise suddenly fills the air.
Nature also graces us with magical moments, such as when we are blessed to witness rainbows, shooting stars, and awe-inspiring sunsets. Nature brings us the mind-numbing beauty and intricacy of snowflakes, crystals, and butterfly wings, to the jaw-dropping grandeur of oceans, redwoods, and whales.
I live for magic in my life. I live for creating it for my children and loved ones. I live for having someone find me worthy of producing a little magic for me. Sometimes, it is only their sheer presence, a smile, a hand on my knee, a small act of remembrance or giving, a surprise visit, or an unexpected kiss in the middle of a busy street that causes the spark.
Without the prospect of awe, wonder, or magic I would shrivel and perhaps die. I certainly could not write.
Albert Einstein seems to agree with me, as he was quoted as saying: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.”
Magic exists in the right notes being played in a row by a musician, in the right colours warmly embracing on a canvas and in the right words dancing on a page. The same can easily be said for science. So many researchers and scientists say they have an “aha” moment leading them to their discovery. In that moment, something was created that wasn’t there before — a magical idea, a possibility, something to wonder about.
I’ve being thinking about what magic is and, for me, it is confounded with wonder and often joy. Or perhaps there is a causal chain here: magic makes me wonder, wonder causes me think and be thankful, and being thankful creates joy.
Or put much more simply, magic makes me tingle.
Magic and love create a lot of the same feelings for me and seem inextricable. Magic, a.k. a romance, warms us, fills us and makes us feel that life is worth it, really worth it. Not to mention the fact that without love for those around us, we would not go out of our way to create magic for them.
Even if you think you don’t believe in magic, if you find yourself saying “Wow!” followed by one of the following: “How did they/he/she do that? Where did that come from? How is that possible? They did that for me?” then you have probably just experienced the power of its enchantment.
Cherish magic in your life, and do what you can to spread it far and wide. Every one of us can be a powerful magician.