When I was younger, I was convinced magic was real. Maybe this was because I read so much Harry Potter, or maybe it was because I was naïve and hopeful. Considering I bought myself a collector’s edition Harry Potter wand, though, I’m going to assume it was the former. I used to swish and flick the wand, precisely as Hermione would, and say all the incantations. I’d say them correctly, too, because I was such a little nerd. It was to no avail. Nothing floated, exploded, or turned into an animal. I was unable to produce a patronus, although I spent lots of time wondering what mine would be (spoiler: probably a cat — I’m lazy and like attention on my own terms).
Am I turning people off with the Harry Potter references? I’m sorry.
I watched a lot of Charmed when I was younger, too. I thought it would be cool to freeze time like Piper. I tried it often. Again, to no avail.
I so wanted to believe in magic, though. I wanted to believe there was something more than just waking up each morning and going to work or school. I wanted to believe this secret world of fantastical creatures existed, just beyond our perceptions. I just wanted to believe.
As I grew up, though, I accepted that magic didn’t exist. I stopped waiting for my letter from Hogwarts (after crying a lot on my eleventh birthday). I grew older and what I thought was wiser. I grounded myself in the real. I stopped being a nerd.
Recently, though, I went to a palm reader. I know what you’re thinking: I’m an idiot. Right? Truth be told, it was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had, and though everything the reader said was extremely vague, I found myself wanting to believe it. I’m basically an adult, and I wanted to believe that this palm reader was right: that I’ve lived 8 past lives, and that in eight short months I’m going to get over someone I’ve been holding onto for so long.
A lot of my friends laughed when I told them what the palmist said. They didn’t believe it. Of course they didn’t, and that’s fine, because I had my own reservations. How could a few lines on my hand say that much?
Despite knowing it was impossible, a small part of myself believed him. It might be embarrassing, but I’d like to believe magic exists. But maybe it’s not as overt as we think it is. Maybe it’s not magic wands or freezing time or palm readers.
Maybe magic is waking up in the morning next to someone you like, feeling all at once ecstatic and nervous, the promise of what you could be hanging in the air like dust particles. You could be over tomorrow, but for right now, you’re there, together. Magic is reading something in a book and finally understanding something that has evaded you for so long. Magic is running into a friend that’s been on your mind a lot lately. It’s lying in the grass on a summer day, feeling like you’re getting a sunburn, but not caring. It’s riding in the car with your best friend, not saying a word, but not feeling uncomfortable. It’s a “jinx!” moment. It’s the nervous heartbeat you get before a date. It’s that first cup of coffee, early morning sun streaming in through your blinds, when you’re still half asleep, and your day has yet to really start.
It’s moments like these, that seem so mundane and non-noteworthy, that hold the true magic in life — the moments where you’re inexplicably happy. We so often overlook them, take them for granted, that we fail to see them for what they really are. This is our magic. And I’d take it over Hogwarts any day*.
*Maybe. I don’t know. God, I love Harry Potter so much.