The Harry Potter series is proof that adults really do believe in magic. If you just rolled your eyes, take yourself somewhere else, you magic-less Muggle. For those of you nodding your head in agreement or inclining it with mild skepticism, hear me out.
Most of you say you don’t believe in Santa Claus, but a lot of presents under the tree still have his name on them. Tooth fairies still go around putting ridiculous amounts of money under pillows. The Easter bunny manages to leave a basket as he (or she, who knows) hops through our towns. We talk pretty big about not believing in magic for people still perpetuating it.
I know there are the naysayers, the ones who believe it’s better to tell your kids “the truth.” When those people say the truth, they mean their truth, and magic doesn’t exist in their dogma. Sometimes the same people have no problem talking about miracles or angels because that kind of thing fits into their belief systems. Is one more far-fetched than the other? It depends on your personal orientation to all things spiritual, magical, or even paranormal.
But there’s a lot of proof out there that we still believe in magic no matter what we say. Of course, there are always people like me who will firmly tell you that Santa Claus exists and will direct you to watch Miracle on 34th Street if you dare object. (People like me will also say that integrity can exist in politics and will direct you to watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, too. I’m weird. So sue me.) But it’s not just people like me.
We say we don’t believe in magic, but we believe in love. What’s the difference? We fall for someone, and it’s unlikely to be the person of our schoolgirl (or boy) fantasies. Often, we love people despite some of their qualities and not just because of them. We even love people who aren’t good to us. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is, although it becomes more of a dark magic when we stay and allow it.
Magic is good intentions and practicing the secret, projecting our intentions out into the world to make them happen. It’s following a dream, no matter how many rejections come our way, and not giving up. It’s being broken in love and still giving it another chance when it comes our way again. It’s getting up every day, even when we don’t feel like it.
We say that magic isn’t real, but we have all seen the very real impact of kindness in the world. And fear. And hate. Not all magic, after all, is light and goodness and beauty. There’s power behind words, incantations we send out into the world, little comprehending the work they do. We are sorcerers, choosing every day the energy we send out and choosing what to do with the energy sent our way.
Maybe our Hogwarts letter never did arrive, even if we keep hoping, even if we’ve selected our Houses already (I’m definitely Gryffindor, although the Sorting Hat will contemplate Ravenclaw for half a minute before deciding). Maybe the only potion we brew each day is coffee. Maybe the only spell we consciously speak is I love you. But magic exists. Muggles can keep denying it, but they still feel it. It’s everywhere.
Maybe you’re still skeptical, or maybe a little half smile is forming as you realize that you are magic. Your letter may not be in hand, and you may not care about Houses or Sorting Hats or Santa Claus. But you care about love. You’ve seen the magic of kindness. You believe. You don’t have to admit it to anyone else. But we both know the magic is real.