This I Believe

Adi - Bellevue, Washington
Entered on June 20, 2007

I believe in Real Magic.

In the Harry Potter universe, I would be a Muggle – a non-magical being. And while I admire J.K. Rowling and devour her books, I have to take issue with this label. I think all living beings on this planet, in a very real sense, are magical beings.

Take Ms. Rowling herself: she represents a magical quality in many humans – that of creativity that touches the lives of others. Every author, poet, or composer whose creations I ever enjoyed brings real magic into my life, and I am grateful for these enrichments.

Magic surrounds us. It can be found in the elaborate dance of the bee that tells her hive members where to find exactly the particular flowers they are looking for. It can be found in the intricate web a spider weaves, or the nearly-unbelievable feat of the salmon’s journey from the ocean to the exact stream of its birth.

The majestic wolves mate for life, and form hierarchical societies that work together. Penguins in the coldest place on Earth manage to raise babies under unimaginable conditions, through a division of labor that some humans could certainly take lessons from. Magic is all about the sense of wonder as you learn to understand this complex, thrilling environment that is our living planet.

I am owned by three pets – two large dogs and a lucky black cat. There is daily magic in the pure joy, pure silliness, and tug-at-your-heartstrings quiet moments that make up our daily interactions. When we play, their waggy tails (or loud purrs) have an uncanny ability to make me feel lighter, even if a lot is weighing on my mind. When I work, nothing helps my concentration better than the slumbering bodies on the floor at my feet, their calm, even breathing as they sleep letting me know that I am trusted, and cherished, and there is nowhere else they’d like to be. Very few experiences can be as magical, and as grounding, as earning the complete love and trust of furry companions.

We tend to get so busy with our lives, we forget about Real Magic. Some years ago, I was shuttling my than-toddler son from point A to point B. It was a typical “Busy Mom” day, it was hot, and we strode With Purpose. In the middle of this hurried journey, my little boy veered towards a fence and stopped to smell a beautiful flower. With the sweetest smile I have ever seen, he tilted it towards me. “Mommy, smell this – it smells so beautiful!” From that day forward, no one could ever tell me there is no such thing as magic.

There is Real Magic all around us, if we just take the time to stop and notice.