More than the Mundane, It’s Magic


Anne Michael

Do you believe in magic? I don’t mean the magic of someone like Houdini, David Copperfield or Blaine. I mean the magic of fairies, sprites, wizards and warlocks or perhaps just the magic that lives in the world; things we can’t explain, things that just sort of happen. Is magic something to which your heart is open?

I believe in magic. Magic has so many shapes and flavors, textures and colors. Perhaps, dear reader, you are thinking that I’ve just gone off the deep end or I put more than a bit of whiskey in my morning coffee—all 12 cups. I’m stone cold sober, I promise. But I’ve been seeing so much magic these past months. Sometimes magic is very apparent if I am open to seeing it.  I know some people never are. My husband Steve is that way.  He believes in logic and in those things he can feel, touch and see.

In recent days, I’ve been seeing more and more things amazing and whimsical, things I’ve taken for granted or only occasionally consider.

Before you decide to suggest to the editor that the men in white coats take me for a stay in a rubber room, consider the magic of a baby’s first laugh, as it erupts from a tiny body and toothless maw that before did not much more that eat, sleep and poop. Where does it come from, that long rolling giggle? It is not something one can taste, feel or see; it just happens. Magic!

There is magic of the scientific kind, manmade, to be sure, the stuff of imagination and need, like rockets that take people into the heavens or land on the moon! How about the flip of a switch on a wall that can bathe a room in light even when the sun is not high in the sky? Consider the water that comes pouring out of spigots in our bathroom so we don’t have to brush our teeth with a twig over a brook or bowl of water pulled from a well. This is the stuff of the human imagination, intellect, hard work and will. When you look at it, really look at it with eyes not clouded with the mundane if important cares of the world like paying bills, climbing your corporate ladder and feeding your family or yourself, it’s magic. When you look at things with the same kind of wide open wonder and joy you did as a child before some adult in your life smacked you upside the head and told you to grow up you can see all manner of magic.  

With these December days ending early, I end up driving home from work in the dark. And I find that elves have been at work stringing lights, garland, wreaths and ribbon down boulevards and avenues. Each day something new delights my eyes and senses. I love new lights bathing a home or garden with dots of light, transforming the mundane into a happy kind of splendor with hardly a squint of my grown-up eye. It’s magic, I’m telling you.

If you don’t believe me, you should see the small screened porch that holds my collection of orchids and Christmas cactuses. I’ve been a bit lazy about cleaning up that porch this fall. The last good storm we had knocked some ribs off my large Christmas cactus, and they have lain beside the pot for months. The plants are sporting buds, each growing heavier by the day. Come Christmas Day, they will be in full and glorious bloom. The magical thing is the ribs lying beside the pot, detached from their roots for months, yet each are budding at the same rate and pace as the mother plant. I look with rapt amazement each day at this bit of astounding magic. No doubt someone can explain the how and why of it, but never having seen it before it is pure magic to my eyes, my heart and my head.

Still you doubt? Let me give you an example that will surely convince you of this thing called magic. Contemplate the book you’ve either just read or are in the midst of reading. When you open the book and move your eyes across a page filled with tiny letters, those letters forming words, words forming sentences, sentences conveying an idea or thought, do you not find that amazing, perhaps magical? Go yet further and take into account the pictures those words draw in your head, pictures so detailed you can smell the coffee, wet earth or acrid coppery tang of blood or feel the chill of an autumn evening by a fire. Those pictures drawn that become vivid and so real when we enter the pages are truly magic. It is not something you can make happen. It just does. Still not convinced? Think of the people you meet in between the cardboard or fabric dressed covers. They make you laugh or cry; they make you rage or you ache with empathy or sympathy. Have you ever come to the end of a book, closed the covers and find that days later you still cannot get the characters out of your head? Think of the skill of the author who can twist those words and sentences, arrange those thoughts in much the same way the clowns at the circus can twist a long balloon into a dog, rabbit, monkey or flower. Magic, yes?  

Those wizards of words can put a spell on you that will make you stay up late into the night to finish a book or read over a steaming pot of pasta or shoo your kids into another room to play because you want to find out what happens next. I’ll bet just thinking about moments like that has just made you smile with the memory or chuckle with the thought.

Magic! Those things of beauty, wonder and amazement that defy explanation, bring joy and fill the heart with childlike pleasure are magical. I wish you the eyes and heart to see the magic that is all around you at the start of this holiday season and every day in the coming year. If you have trouble finding the magic, read a child a book and  you will see the magic come alive.

At age 10, Anne realized she was never going to get to be Miss America since reading a book was not an acceptable talent. So she went on to get a job and raise a family. Along the way, she fixed meals, picked up toys, helped with homework, and collected a drawer full of rejection slips for her “great American novel.” It was not all bad, however, since she ended up wallpapering a closet with them. She currently designs and creates greeting cards for her tiny company, The Frog Prints, LLC, and also works full-time as a Training Specialist. Anne is currently tethered to reality by a loving spouse, two dogs, one cat and the occasional hurricane that blows through Florida, although falling headlong and happily into a book is still her favorite “talent.” She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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