October 16, 2018

I am a Potterhead (#TeamRavenclaw). For those outside the Wizarding World, that is to say I am obsessed with Harry Potter. I love Harry’s story for its epic adventure, its themes of good and evil, life, love, and death. I love the friendships, the flawed humans, the school work, and the myriad of creatures. Hey, I even love the quirky, inexplicable rules, loop holes, and plot gaps. Harry Potter occupies a large part of my headspace, and our family’s life . . . especially in October. That’s when we transform our yard (and ok, we may have leaked a wee bit onto the esplanade in the middle of our street) into Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. And it’s magic.

Our driveway becomes a Quidditch pitch. Our large front porch houses a Potions classroom, an Herbology classroom, and of course ends at Honeydukes. The Sorting Hat sits ready at Platform 9 ¾.  S.P.E.W. graciously provides socks. Hagrid’s Hut houses some magical creatures. You can even throw your name in the Goblet of Fire. A patronus sits at the far end of the street to guide you to us. It’s been fun to share my obsession with my children, as well as watch it grow in size and reputation around our neighborhood. It’s magical. It really is.

Now you are waiting for a punchline. Because magic isn’t real. But I vehemently disagree. You see, magic isn’t about casting spells. It isn’t seeing unicorns, phoenix, or thestrals.  It isn’t even about knowing what these things are or what they mean.

Magic is time. Magic is the time I’ve spent with each child dreaming up our next projects. It’s the shared creative hours we take drawing up the plans, gathering our resources, and plotting how to cut this, or paint that just so.

Magic is space. It’s the space we occupy sewing, sawing, grinding, painting, and glueing. Our projects take over our driveway, our garage, our neighbor’s woodworking room, our craft room. For the rest of the year, those stains, wood chips, and scraps left behind remind me of magical spaces just beyond a door, a veil, or platform . . . dormant until discovered (again).

Magic is wonder. It’s what happens when the neighborhood kids show up on Halloween. Some burst through Platform 9 ¾ at full speed. Others carefully pull back the brick curtain a little unsure of what they might find. Oh the magic in seeing those wide eyes, and huge smiles. It’s hearing the chatter that erupts; the oohs and ahhs, and even the OHs that lets me know we’ve created something special.

Magic is mischief barely managed: candy wrappers everywhere, sticky butterbeer sloshed on robes, and floors. Socks pulled down, examined, and swapped. The brooms scattered across the lawn, and bean bags willy nilly in the driveway. It’s the wands left behind, and the few potion bottles left uncorked, turned over, or even broken.

Magic is gratitude. It’s the many unsolicited verbal and written thank yous that have shown up over the years from adults and children. Those are true treasures, to be sure. We’ve kept every one of them.

Oh yes, there is magic. So much magic. Always magic. Always.