Thursday, November 19, 2015

Do you believe in magic?


      One day I took a walk down to the barn with Willie. It was a cold, blustery afternoon and I was wearing my hat and gloves, clutching my arms to myself as I walked against the wind. It was just about dusk and there were pink streaks parading across the sky before the shadows set in, a picture of any movie poster.

     When Willie and I got to the barn I heaved the door open, and out came Magnolia, the barn cat, to greet me and make sure I gave her a kiss. I switched on the little black radio, flipped the lightswitch, and walked over to the cage where my family of bunnies live. I sang out greetings.

     "Hello, funny bunnies! How are you this fine day? You're so cute." I picked up the two babies, one in each arm, and kissed their fluffy little heads. "You are so funny! Are you keeping warm, my dears?"

     Then I turned around, and that's when I saw it.

     A string of Christmas lights my daddy had strung from the rafters over the swinging door that leads into the donkeys' pen. A hundred red, blue, green, and yellow prisms twinkling from the hay and cobwebs. They glowed like little fires, and I felt a warm fire begin to glimmer inside me.

     And it was magic.

     Of course, it wasn't really. My daddy strung the lights there, and they turned on when I hit the lightswitch. Nothing magic about that. But when I saw them and my heart gasped, somehow it was, and I knew it was. There was no other word to describe it.

     I'm not talking about the kind of magic that uses spells and potions and decks of cards and causes such controversy in pop culture. I don't know about that kind. I'm talking about kind of magic that sends a thrill up your spine at a good ghost story told around a fire on a harvest-moon night; the glow in a child's eyes on Christmas eve; the spark that passes between two people when they realize they're meant to be. That's what magic is to me. And people, that's real.

     It isn't just for children. It's only easier for children to believe because everyone's telling them to believe it. But magic is for everyone, if you'll open your eyes and let it into your soul. A good deed done -- a smile given -- a warm fire on a cold night -- a thousand crackling stars so bright you could stick your hand out and grab one. It's all magic.

     Last week I was in a musical. While I was in it there were many times when I felt like it would go on forever...but then it didn't, and suddenly it was all over and it was time to strike the set. (If you've ever been in a musical you probably know that striking the set can be an extremely depressing thing.) So that happened. But the real fun came after the work was completed and everything cleaned up, when one of the stage guys pulled out the harness-thing they use to 'fly' people in theater and all of a sudden it became apparent that he was going to let any of us try it. (!!!!!!!!!)

     When it came my turn, I felt shivery. I got strapped into the harness, and then, within an instant, I was in the air. I floated thirty feet above everyone else, dangling like a puppet in a marionette show, completely airborne. I screamed like a little girl.

     And that was magic.

     You see, it's the silly little things just as much as the grand big ones. You've got to notice -- it's there. It was magic when I was lifted into the air by a rope like I was Peter Pan. It was magic when the first snow squall of the season came last week and showered my soul with fluffy white crystals. It was magic when my favorite song came on the radio the other night as I sat on the table in the barn, completely out of the blue.

     I'm not preaching a taro-card, fairy wand, witch's broom magic. I'm talking about the God-given gifts we so often treat casually -- the excitement so many people lose as they get older and more weighted down with adult responsibilities. I don't want to ever lose that. I don't want to ever stop freaking out over the first snow of the winter, and I don't want to begin to ignore all the little blessings God gives me for no other reason than because He loves me. I hope I can hold on to that childish sparkle forever, because it's something very precious. It's the real magic.


     And just for the record, yes, I do believe in it.


     (Willie is my dog, by the way. ;-))

20 comments:

  1. Oh, this was beautiful, Emma! Just beautiful! You have such a way with words. "They glowed like little fires, and I felt a warm fire begin to glimmer inside me." "I'm talking about the kind of magic that sends a thrill up your spine at a good ghost story told around a fire on a harvest-moon night..." (Talk about shivers up your spine!)

    "I hope I can hold on to that childish sparkle forever, because it's something very precious. It's the real magic." I'd say you're definitely full of that childish sparkle. It comes across in your writing all the time. I'm not real good at describing things, but to me your writing is very sparkly and soaring and alive! I can feel the happy, peaceful memories wrapped up in the words you write. And the way you choose to describe things is so lovely.

    Yeah...I kind of liked this post! :)

    ~Miss March

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    1. Miss March, your comment gave me shivers! You really are a dear -- thank you so much for all your kind words. :-) Really -- it touched me!

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  2. Ohhhhh, Emma. This was beautiful. And of course I agree completely. =) (Your daddy is awesome for hanging up Christmas lights in the barn, just saying.)

    ~ Naomi

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    1. Thanks, Naomi. (And yes, my daddy is awesome. :-))

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  3. Oh, that picture of the cowboy boots gave me happy chills. I'm not sure why. ;-) (And I immediately recognized the last picture - I always loved the story of Peter Pan. :-D)
    So, I'm kind of speechless. (How very un-like me! Ha!) This post was so gorgeous. So perfect. I loved reading every bit of it. (In fact, I may just have to read it to my mother. I often read her your blog posts. And don't worry, she always likes them! ;-D) From you cuddling your bunnies, to the sunset you saw, to the cobwebs in your barn, to how magic is in a good ghost story told around a fire at night, to the gleam in a child's eye on Christmas Eve, to when to people realize they're meant to be, to your description of the harness in which you flew like Peter Pan and squealed like a little girl; I loved all of it. Gah, I really can't say anymore.
    Oh, and I REALLY want to fly in that harness now. Like, REALLY BADLY. You have no idea. ;-P
    Also, I believe in real magic - the kind you talked of (the magicians rabbit in the hat, card tricks etc are rubbish compared to it!). I believe God can create beautiful, magical things in what could easily be a terribly cruel and ugly world. And I believe He does. And as you said, I don't ever want to ignore those beautiful, magical blessings He has given me. Ever. :-)
    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Miss Meg, it gave me chills too. I had to use it. :-D

      Thank you so much, dear friend. And wow, I rendered you speechless! ;-P I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know that I succeeded in conveying a little bit of the magic I felt. Thanks so much for your comment -- and I really hope you get the chance to 'fly' someday, because it truly is amazing!

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  4. Gorgeous, Emma. And I totally know what you mean.

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  5. The magic of the theatre .. so expertly captured =D

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    1. Thanks, Evie! I know -- that's one of the things I love about theatre. It's so magical. :-D

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  6. I was wondering who Willie was;)

    This was a lovely post, Emma! Really--you have a gift:D Your descriptions were spot-on. *hugs you and the post, especially the Christmas lights part*

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    1. Yeah...it occurred to me that I maybe should clarify that. ;-P

      Thank you, Olivia -- it really means so much to me to have you say that. *hugs Olivia back and hands her the Christmas lights*

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  7. YES!!!! Oh, Emma, this was beautiful and it brought tears to my eyes.
    This is exactly how I feel, but you put it into words for me. It's the little things like these, the tiny moments of beauty and happiness that God gives us, that helps me through the days. Whether it's the sun shining through the bare tree branches, a lovely line in a book, or a warm cup of tea on a rainy day...it truly IS magic. Not what our culture knows as magic, but something much more real and meaningful and God-given.

    I just love this post. :)

    (And squee...today I woke up and we had a heavy dusting of snow Our first snow! And it's still coming down fast and thick and our world is literally a winter wonderland. And yes, I'm still freaking out over it. :))

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    1. I'm glad you feel the same, Natalie. :-) Thank you so much! AND YOU HAVE SNOW!!!!! *screams and jumps up and down* As I said, we had a little squall last week, but now we're back to drab brown and green. But SOON. ;-D

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    2. Haha, YES!! It was sooo beautiful...but it's gone now. :( There's only a little left in the shady corners...I hope it will snow again soon--for both you and me! :)

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  8. I love this post Emma Jane! I too am a firm believer in "magic" though it's usually the little things that give me chills. A wind eddy of leaves, looking over my city and seeing a thousand twinkling lights (at night), getting a glimpse of the neighborhood fox, etc. There is so much if we only open our eyes to it.

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  9. Yes, yes, yes, I totally agree with this post Emma! And I'm 31, so probably a good example of how you can still 'believe in magic' when you're an adult, hehe. There are so many small but amazing things in life which we should never just take for granted and your post has reminded me of that again!

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  10. Beautifully said, Emma! I hope you never do lose that magic because as adulthood comes on it gets harder to keep it. But not impossible! Never impossible. There's so much of life that's hard and yuck and we need the little moments and sweet imaginings and awe-inspiring little things that happen daily (even moment by moment) to keep hope alive. To be reminded that this life is SO worth living, even in the hard. Magic is the catch in your heart as you're reminded how amazing life and breath are. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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    1. Kara, thank YOU for the reminder! Your comment made me smile. :-)

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