Magic looked a lot like sitting in plastic play places listening to music with a good friend and driving in the carpool home with red cheeks and wet hair.
Magic looked like finding glitter in unexpected places and dressing up in Mommy’s fancy shoes while pretending the cats were small dogs we carried on runways.
Magic felt like grass in between our toes for the first time in six months while lilacs bloomed and the final layer of snow melted off tree branches.
It was the church at 9 am with toddlers’ hands clinging to ours, walking down the aisle where we bless ourselves and bask in our youth that we did not know we were lucky to have. Hallelujahs spilled from our mouths, the lazy hymnals wafting through our bones. “Beautiful, just beautiful!” The grandmothers say, and we nod and smile in agreement.
It was arriving at school on Mondays with hair bouncing and shining from my mother’s hair curler, mandatorily dressed up in yesterday’s church clothes as per academic apparel code. We read Shakespeare and solve the Pythagorean theorem, eat ice cream for lunch and splash barefoot in the fountain, translate the final pages of the Latin textbook and learn Hindu rituals. We laugh behind textbooks in the hallways when the senior boys walk by (especially that one, isn’t he a dream?) and skip class to take adventures in the trees and ancient architecture.
We run around in skirts with our hair floating in spring breezes, tying white flowers together and crowning each other like the goddesses we are. We lick the chocolate off our fingers (we deserved it) and braid each others hair, sip water from the same plastic bottles and trade sweaters when we grow bored of the same shade of brown. We draw hearts on our arms swearing we will someday get them permanently tattooed because one heart is simply not enough. We share songs in between classes and chirp in excited whispers, blush with achey nervousness and share our hopes about the different loves we wish we had. We stay up all day floating through our daydreams and stay up all night wandering through tomorrow’s possibilities, yearning and praying for more magic. Truly devastating that we did not know it comes from within.
Magic was in solitary sunset bike rides, birds rising with us in the hazy mornings, and dew on the grass that tickled our ankles. Magic was in the increasing daylight, discovering favorite songs, and spring romances as fresh and clean as the air after a thunder storm.
Magic was crawling under cold sheets after the first sunburn, sitting at the bottom of swimming pools, and tanned skin accentuated by the white lines that laced over our shoulders.
Magic was falling in love for the first time, with summer, and ourselves. Over time we felt it fade and tried to hold on and collect the fading ashes that sank to the ground, but saw that our tears had washed them away. We learned that there is no magic in heartbreak and especially none in sharing beds with people who don’t know how to share our hearts.
Magic doesn’t come from staying up all night trying to stop the sun from coming up and it doesn’t come from breaking off pieces of ourselves to give to someone who wont take care of it the way we would. Running to the ocean to watch the sunrise, counting comets, and long night drives with the windows down used to be magic only in your dreams.
You’re here now, so dig inside, and dust off your heart. You have your magic right here so go and seize it. You’re made of stardust and saltwater, return to your galaxy and breathe safely, you are more magical than you could ever imagine.