I am not a fan of top hat magic, the kind that disappears women or reappears bunnies and doves. I really could not care less about from whence silk scarves come or whether you can guess which card I picked. I do know one weird illusion that claims to rub a quarter into my forearm. Unfortunately I laugh so hard from nervousness that every attempt gets ruined anyway.
But real magic? The kind of magic that lights up your eyes and adds sparkle and heat to the air? I love that. I am a sucker for real, pulsing, powerful magic. And it’s all around me.
I sense magic at dawn when the sky above the bachelors’ field changes from inky black with diamond stars to fiery, ridiculous shades of orange and purple. So much color some days it seizes up my throat and tightens my chest. A pleasure-pain. The roosters crowing can be magical, heralding another day I get to live on these strange and beautiful nine acres. Feeding the buffalo with his square, wet leathery nose and his poofy Afro and horns, cuddling and scruffing him as he reaches high for that bucket of sweet grain, yep, that’s magic. Releasing the frantic chickens to go roam free and then collecting their eggs, up to eleven per day lately, with those hard shells of greens and blues, rich mahogany brown and white, this is a gift and a bit of nutritional magic for me. Kissing Meh with his sweet, fuzzy little motherless lips, trading butterfly eyelashes with him, pure magic.
Every single time a seed germinates and sprouts, and then again when it grows tall and bursts out with one pair of tiny leaves after another, each of these stages is its own magic. When that seed becomes food that we eat, and then bolts and flowers and produces new seeds all over again, magic.
We’re about to be drenched in this, you know. Winter doesn’t stand a chance. Actually winter is magical, too. It draws us close, quiets us, urges us to shun lists and busyness and just be. Winter’s magic is togetherness and affection, inner warmth despite the cold outside.
Spending time with the horses and learning to speak their language has been an unexpected dose of magic lately. Feeling such a massive animal respond to the smallest squeeze of my thighs or the gentlest tug of reins is like nothing else. And the fact that I am on this adventure with my firstborn, this doe eyed young woman who was so recently my doe eyed baby, this is a magic for which I barely have words.
Maybe you frown on using the word magic in the realm of prayer, and that’s understandable because the connotation is historically so different, but to me it’s all the same. The amazing power of an intimate communication with my Creator, the results-getting influence of just talking to Him and asking for help and inspiration, guidance and then outright miracles, this is a magic without which I would really hate to live. This is a magic that has charmed my life and cracked open my imagination.
Magic can be found in the gleam of wood floors when the afternoon sun pours through that window and also in the sparkle of disco ball reflections on that ceiling. Magic is in the carpet on our stairs that we chose after the house fire, the same stairs the parrot sings in and climbs when he misses us. Magic is in the upright piano in our dining room that, although it is rarely played now, reminds me of my grandparents and how good childhood was. The piano also reminds me of Handsome’s Mom and the ache he must constantly feel without her. This remembrance is painful but important magic. I see magic in the estate sale black and white toille curtains I nailed up clumsily to flank our kitchen door, which leads to the south yard, where so many friends have gathered with us over these seven years.
Magic is in the smell of chicken roasting in the oven together with lemon, garlic, and fresh sage. Everyone likes the magic of chocolate chip cookies, soft and steaming, crispy on the edges, begging for cold milk. Magic is pasta night once every week when each of us gets exactly the sauce he or she likes best. Magic is perfect coffee together every single morning, even if it means a special drive to the truck stop late at night after a long road trip. Magic is homemade pizza when we feel like it and Little Caesar’s when we don’t. Magic is cooking twice as much food as we need and freezing the extras so our girl always has homemade meals to take with her. Even bigger, bolder magic is cooking with her and having her sit with us to eat.
Magic is watching a scary movie, knowing full well that Handsome will be in covert attack mode for the next three days, seeking after and relishing every blood curdling scream I offer. And me loving every second of it. Then it’s nothing short of magic when he gets up and goes to work day after day, week after week, all these years, despite the opposition, despite the imbalances in government, despite the lies and deceit and people who would be so thrilled for him to throw in the towel. Magic is in how much he loves and protects me, no matter how depleted he is.
I absolutely love the hours between chores and housework and then the evening, that little slice of afternoon when I am free to play in the garden or write or, most often, go for a long run. It’s a magical time of day for me. Running itself is a dose of magic for my mind as well as my body. I had to experience this for myself to believe it, but something bizarre really does happen to you in each stage of a long run, and it’s a gift. It’s worth exploring.
Magic is in the comfort of routine and the excitement of adventure. It’s in every part of our calendar, our friends and family, my book club, the thrumming life building up for the next generation. Magic is in legacy and tradition, dreams and departures.
Magic is the feel of paper and the smell of fresh laundry. The grumble of a strong car engine and the relief of not running out of gas when you’re late. Magic is found when your husband fixes your washing machine himself and also does the taxes.
Magic is in the sunset, too, brilliant over the llama field and the valley below it but somehow glowing against the hilltop bachelors’ field where we saw the sun rise this morning. More jaw-dropping color, more pleasure-pain from the kind of beauty we could never duplicate. Magic is in every wild heron that visits our pond and in the love we have found for Duck Duck, the wild goose who is now part of our farm-ily. Magic is in the way Duck Duck insists on being touched once on the back before allowing us to usher him to bed.
And then magic is in wrapping up the farm at the end of a long day, setting coffee to brew at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow, clicking off the lights, locking the doors, kissing the parrot, ascending those carpeted stairs. Some of my very favorite magic is sliding between our silky soft, clean sheets and collapsing on our best pillows, braiding together physically to reinforce our silent unions. Magic is how we feel stronger instead of weaker, better instead of worse, night after night.
And then the impossibly beautiful, magical sunrise again.
Now tell me something about your magic.
Mama Kat invited us to write about magic this week. Please visit some of the other writers too! And thank you so much for stopping here.