When I was born, magic was my lungs taking in the air around the hospital bed. Magic was simply being alive.
When I was two or three or four, magic lived in my surroundings and was the force that soaked the world into my brain like a sponge. It was the new words, the interactions they made, and the people that were receiving them. It was the whirring on of my senses as I picked up something new everyday. It was staring into the darkness and vividly imagining what dwelled there until I cried out for my mother to tell me there was nothing at all.
When I was eight or nine or ten, magic was the books I read that brought me to places I had never seen or would never see, as they really did not exist. It was elves and fairies, unicorns and imps. It was religion class, as water turned to wine and blind men saw and babies were born of virgins. It was simply education.
When I was a teenager, magic became science and anthropology. It became anatomy. It became awareness of climate change and the running of entire countries and the cultural differences that coexist on a giant blue rock. It was realizing that we all materialized from stars. It turned into the wonder of what is actually real and “magical” in the world. And the fairies were still there too. Oh, how still I wanted them to be real.
When I was twenty, the magical thing was that I was alive. I can say that this has already happened three or four times in my life, besides birth. But this one was significant. My self-preservation up until this point was no where near magical.
When I was in my early twenties, magic was working on films and theater productions. It was watching nothing become something and something entertain a whole audience of human beings that would go home and say “That was magical!” Covered in paint and saw dust, or lipstick smudges on my clothes or latex under my nails. It was truly understanding the magic that others want to see.
Magic was also truly understanding human chemistry. Having relationships and deciding what works and what doesn’t and finding yourself in the process. Magic was loving and being loved. It was also coming to terms with the existence of hatred. It was becoming truly self-aware as well as “other-aware.” The magic of childhood selfishness becomes a hindrance. There is no more room for it in the bag.
At 28 years old, I have collected a lot of magic in my bag. I have seen purple skies and I have eaten triple fudge sundaes. I have made 3 gallons of fake blood and I have turned beautiful women into witches. I have cried at the end of a book because I had to leave. I began a journey to study medicine, which while never completed, still taught me about the magic of the human body. I have witnessed pain and experienced love.
Three years ago, there was a new kind of magic. It is the greatest kind and I am ever so grateful to be living it right now. And right now, she is learning the same magic I did and I get to watch it happen with all of the love in my heart and pride in my body.