I read a lot of fantasy novels. The genre has been a source of excitement and comfort for me for over twenty years, and it is wonderfully inexhaustible. I’m currently reading The Sorceress by Michael Scott, the third book in a series I’m enjoying quite a bit.

Sometimes I think I enjoy reading fantasy because there is always resolution. Most stories come to a tidy end, but with fantasy, particularly YA, there is a clear-cut notion of good and evil, and while the bad guys usually take out some of our favorite characters along the way, it is never without a moral or life lesson attached. Life is rarely that simple, and sometimes it feels like heaving a deep emotional sigh to relax into a world where someone else is fighting the battles and taking on the weight of the world – in some cases, as when Annabeth and Percy from Rick Riordan’s Olympians series each take a turn in Atlas’s spot, literally.

I also think magic is a reminder of childhood simplicity, the wonder of imagination, the appreciation for small things grownups with big, important lives missed. Things I often miss now. I try to acknowledge the beauty and magic that shows itself to me every day, but sometimes I let my vision get clouded. I forget how to see things in a simple way. I become engrossed in the logistics of life, and forget to live it.

Last night, I had what can only be called a magical conversation. And it came at a time when I really needed the kind of blatant magic I experienced repeatedly over the course of the phone call. Specific family-related topics arising that the man I was chatting with couldn’t have known were weighing heavily on my mind. A comment he made about Maui, where he has lived for 7 years now, that was a near-verbatim repetition of the sentiment my new friend shared about Portland the other night, though he’d not read about it. A reminder that magical things happen when we ask for them, and believe in the power of the universe to deliver them.

Tonight, I will invoke his manifestation mantra and make it my own. I will ask the universe to surprise and delight me. And I will breathe deeply into my days, clearing my heart’s vision of the clutter of my mind, and discover the surprises and delights that are already present in each moment.

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