November 11, 2002

Do you believe in magic?

I'm so damn The current mood of augustdreams at

A man named James Randi or, to be more precise, a foundation bearing his name, has a standing offer of one million dollars to anyone who can prove the existence of magic. ESP, spells, biblical miracles. He lumps all of these under the general term "magic" His challenge is the legacy of a skeptic who wanted to be proved wrong.

I think Mr. Randi simply didn't look hard enough at this world. Forgetting for a moment that I've seen what proves to me, personally, the existence of forces we barely understand, let alone can explain neatly away with litmus tests and scientific studies...he is overlooking the awesome magic that is being a living creature! If I think about the wonder of this world for too long it makes my head spin. Imagine the slim chance of sperm meeting egg at exactly the right time and the right place. BOOM! Miracle number one. You have begun. Infinitesimally small cells divide, again and again, becoming a Zygote. Fast forward a bit and you've got a beating heart, you're sucking a tiny, prenatal thumb...then chemicals trigger labor. Congratulations! You've joined the human race. Here's your social security card. Try to leave this world a little better than you found it. Oh. And don't eat the yellow snow.

How can anyone view our very existence as less than miraculous? You want further proof, Mr. Randi? Very well. I've got more. How can you explain that sometimes you feel a tug, a strange feeling that a friend needs you. You write a cheerful letter, send an email, or a card, a phone call or a visit...something which reminds them that you love them, and you're thinking of them. Well, look at that. Your action comes at a time when they needed it most. Or study the perfection in the wings of a dragonfly. A dragonfly once landed and quietly rested on my outstretched hand on a day when I needed a little magic.

The fact that we find one another, that the people we're meant to know somehow enter our lives against all odds and obstacles. Dolphins saving people from drowning. Snowflakes. The way babies chuckle, their whole tiny bodies wobbling with mirth. I truly believe that if all you want to see is the bad stuff, the tragedy and evil in our world, then life won't disappoint you. Just watch the evening news. An hour of CNN will convince you that, if Armageddon itself isn't close, we've at least disgusted God to the point that he's abandoned us. Only that isn't true. The magic is there, too. You just have to be willing to see it.

Magic isn't someone waving a wand and pulling a Rabbit out of a hat. Magic is prenatal surgery that saves a small life, and that tiny hand reaching out and gripping the surgeon's finger. Magic is the reason food tastes better when it's cooked by someone who loves you. Magic is what makes us stare up in wonder at the same stars we see each night. Magic is the way no matter how difficult and rough the path of our lives get, each morning feels like a new beginning, a new chance. Magic is everywhere, you just have to know how to look.

Have a magical day and thanks for reading.

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