I’ve been learning how to do magic for the last few days. Not tricks you understand, but ordinary magic. By which I mean magic without hidden pockets, distractions, annoying patter or rabbits being pulled out of top hats. The sort of magic we can all do without years of training and mainly by believing we can.
This is particularly useful at the moment, what with the shut down and all this distancing. I haven’t been out any more that you and I’ve been fairly quiet most of the time. But I’ve seen magic, around me and on the social media that’s turned out to be so necessary. And I’ve even made some of it.
Some by sitting in our back yard here, drinking coffee and reading. Magic mornings of springtime solitude and interesting learning. More magic on Plot 44, Sarah’s allotment, where digging has happened for our daily exercise and sweet peas and raspberries have been planted. All done with the necessary physical distancing from other allotment holders, but closely watched today by some blue tits, a goldfinch and even a robin that came right up to me, once I’d conjured them up by digging in the soil.
Then this morning I got in touch with a lot of my friends on the internet and was sent back more magic. Love and friendship from them all, and the good news that they’re well and were glad to hear from me. Also this other gift by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, who are even better at magic than I am.
And why am I calling all of this magic? This kindness, this happenstance, this noticing, these nice times in the yard and on the allotment, this planting and these birds? Well because I’ve been reading a book that’s taught me about it, and cheered me right up. It’s quite an old book that’s out of print and hard to find now. But a friend sent it to me. For me and my daughter Clare to borrow and read. And it’s exactly the right book for now, as I hope you’ve gathered.
So I’m thinking about reading it to you, if you’d like? It’ll have to be a social media thing, on a film maybe. But I think we all need good stories to help us through at the moment. And some magic as well, coming soon.