I can still remember my desperate longing to follow Lucy into the wardrobe when I first heard the story of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a child. My dad read the book to me as a bedtime story and he kept getting frustrated because I was so eager to find out what happened next that I would read ahead of him on the page. I sighed in exasperation as I waited for him to catch up. With the same desire in my heart, as I read I envisioned myself entering The Secret Garden alongside Mary Lennox. Oh how, I wanted to visit that garden. To this day, I picture a secret, magical, flourishing green place behind every garden door I see.
I imagined my dad as a scientist working with Meg Murry’s dad as I took in the pages of A Wrinkle In Time. I so badly wanted to travel to another dimension with Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which by way of a tesseract. I had a vivid imagination and these stories felt like home to me. In the pages of these beloved books, I fell in love with possibility. There seemed to be two worlds available to me¾the one I lived in and the one I fantasized about living in. The second world was comprised of what could be. I’d be lying if I told you the same isn’t sometimes true today.
There is only a small difference between then, when my eyes twinkled at the possibility of magical forces whisking me away into a parallel universe, and now. Then, I was convinced that magic was an influence that existed outside of me. Now, I know have the power to invoke magic from within the skin and bones of my very own body. Sometimes making magic is as simple as letting the beauty in things that might seem rather ordinary to some astonish me.
For the last week, the skies where I live in Michigan have been solid gray. Today the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Seeing sunshine after days of gray feels like magic to me. The way the sun sparkles on bodies of water, or makes the new fallen snow look like a field of diamonds, or sets on the horizon takes my breath away. Hot air balloons floating up and away in the summer sky leave me in awe. I love seeing how the leaves change colors in the fall. I admire apples waiting to be picked from tree limbs. I watch closely as deer snack in my backyard. It is miraculous to see hawks watching over us from trees along the highway. The sound of a creek trickling or waves crashing against the shoreline makes me feel so peaceful. While these are things that happen again and again, they are sometimes so striking that they are unreal to me. Our world is indeed a magical one.
This past summer I was up late at our family cottage in Northern Michigan waiting for my husband and some friends to arrive. My sister and I were painting a bathroom ceiling and all the kids were tucked into beds. My mom was across the street with my nephew. My husband called and asked if I had been outside lately? He was nearby and thought he was seeing the Northern Lights. I grabbed my sister, called my mom, yelled at all the kids to get out of bed and we all ran outside to the beach. I was so amazed by the sight of the lights dancing on the water, that I honestly thought I might die right then and there. I was shaking with excitement. My heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. Just a few minutes later my husband and our friends arrived. As we stood together on the beach, we marveled at the brilliance of the Milky Way. We admired shooting stars beaming themselves across the night sky. Every cell in my body was filled with wonder. That was science. And, definitely magic.
Serendipitous moments never cease to amaze me. For example, when I am thinking about a friend and she sends me a text message out of the blue. Or when I am thinking about my dad and Summertime, a song he used to sing as a lullaby plays on the radio. Or when I am wondering how my mom’s day is going and she calls on the phone. Some might interpret all these common occurrences a coincidence, I believe they are magic. I refer to them as everyday magic.
As a child I kept my eyes out for potential portals into other times. I closed my eyes and tried to make myself invisible. I dreamt of disappearing, making wishes, and flying in the sky. I would have done anything for a magic wand that could transform my dreams into reality. Now I am in awe of serendipity. I admire the intricacies of the world around me. I stop space and time by making art. I write myself into other realms. All the magic lies within me and within the choice I make to see things with a magician’s eye. I can transform things, thoughts, and experiences. All of us can.
It is an incredible power to harness that magic by making a pile of scraps into a collage or sorting words into sentences. Each of us is a creative being and as such, when we create, transform, and welcome what we see around us as magic, we feel at home in ourselves. We can mix essential oils with beeswax to make soothing balms or colorful foods together to make meals. We have the power to turn seeds in to blooms and ideas into books. We have the ability to see the ordinary as if were extraordinary. Thankfully, we are every bit as magical as I longed for us to be. We live in a magical place and we are surrounded by magic. It is everywhere. I am so grateful for that.
About the Author: Anna Oginsky
Anna Oginsky is the founder of Heart Connected, LLC, a small Michigan-based workshop and retreat business that creates opportunities for guests to tune in to their hearts and connect with the truth, wisdom, and power held there. Her work is inspired by connections made between spirituality, creativity, and community. Anna’s first book, My New Friend, Grief, came as a result of years of learning to tune in to her own heart after the sudden loss of her father. In addition to writing, Anna uses healing tools like yoga, meditation, and making art in her offerings and in her own personal practice. She lives in Brighton, Michigan with her husband, their three children, and Johnny, the big yellow dog. Connect with her on her website; Twitter; Facebook; or Instagram.
Learn more about her book at www.mynewfriendgrief.com