Monday, December 1, 2008

What Is Magic

Magic is the answer to its own sub-category on Jeopardy, otherwise known as "things that defy explanation". One might say that this is the season of magic, the season where there is glitter in the air and icycles hang from rooftops like rock candy on a stick. When I was five, I remember leaving cookies and milk on the mantel for Santa Claus which accompanied a letter begging for his delivery of the "Dream Kitchen" I saw very high on the top shelf at the local supermarket, never mind that is was fifty dollars and my mother kept saying no. This dream kitchen had a refrigerator, sink unit, dishwasher and stove, each in varying colors of mint and creamsicle. The appliances were each about 12 inches in height and were accessorized with tiny plates, cooking utensils and an unlimited number of molded plastic food stuffs: A tiny roasted turkey on a Thanksgiving platter, canned food, cartons of milk and eggs, all awaiting its arrangment by my little, hopeful hands. I was fascinated by its design and transfixed by its 100 pieces of miniature kitchen accessories. Imagine my surprise when, on Christmas Eve I awoke alone at the witching hour and crept under a glowing Christmas tree and the cookies and milk on the mantel had magically been consumed. The Dream Kitchen was there, in all its majestic glory, unwrapped and awaiting my participation. I trembled with anticipation, too overwhelmed to reach out to see whether or not it was real.

But wait, that was not the only magic. The REAL magic happened later in the Spring, after my father built a wall unit in my bedroom that had two shelves about 1 ft. deep by 3 feet wide. These shelves were stacked one on top of the other and opened with levered shutters which then became the assigned place that housed my Dream Kitchen. To complete this Dream World, for my birthday my mother had given me a miniature Singer Sewing machine which operated by a hand crank on the side of the unit. With this little sewing machine I made curtains, doll clothes and even tiny rugs long before Martha and HG television. Hours spent in my room turned into days until my mother would burst into my room saying, "Barbie K, the sun is shining and children need to be outside". Only then would I come back to reality, leaving my magic behind and in my mind.

I carry this with me. I execute this magic every day. Often I forget. It seems like work. It's hard, it's frustrating but the magic is still there, it still glitters, if I stop to catch it. I look at my hands and they are cut and blistered. I see them full of glitter as it runs thru my fingers and into the earth. I still believe in Miracles.