Be Playful

Aspects of Playfulness: Magical Enchantment

Posted on: 21 May 2008

Do you believe in fairies?

gnome
Photo by David Masters.

Standing in my yard at the back of my city house in Manchester is a garden gnome. In the midst of endless grey skies and dull red buildings, the gnome is a rupture of colour, a moment of brightness to my day when I notice him amidst the plants. He also reminds me to keep my eyes open for fairies and magical moments.

Do you remember the feeling at Christmas, knowing that Santa Claus was going to visit? I used to wish it could be Christmas everyday so that I could experience that magical feeling. On Christmas Eve I still struggle to sleep, the excitement for the next day keeping me awake.

Did you ever experience the magic of theme parks? The thrill of the roller coaster, a day seemed to last forever, and you wished it would never end.

Yet now I can see through this ‘magic’ of theme parks and Christmas. I can see that companies cynically exploit what should be a time of genuine magic and enchantment to make money. Although there is still a glimmer of hope within me, I have become disenchanted.

Looking around it seems as though much of the world has become disenchanted. Do you know anyone who visits the bottom of their garden looking for fairies? (You’re very lucky if you do!) We have seen through tricks of the magicians; we know that it is all fake, constructed by some sleight of hand.

Yet I, for one, still want to believe. I think secretly, we do believe.

Magic in Science

I recently read somewhere that ‘germs’ are like the new evil spirits. We can’t see them, yet we tell stories about them, aren’t really quite sure what they are, and imbue them with powers that they don’t really have. We use medical language (viruses, cancerous, bugs) to refer to things that we aren’t really sure why they happen, but we know are bad.

That’s interesting to me because magic and healing have always been closely linked. And so now, we’re taking words from science, and using them in a magical sense, albeit mostly in a negative way.

This gives me hope. Maybe magic will never leave us. We will always be looking for enchantment, for moments of beauty and wonder that strike us when we least expect it.

There are times in my life when I’m not looking for answers: I’m looking for a mystery, for an adventure to be swept up in. I’m looking for magic, for sparkles, for some fairy dust to sprinkle through my hair and make me fly away to an enchanted land.

Magic in Today’s World

city-magic
Photo by Yves Lorson.

The Cinema
Somewhere else I read that going to the movies is the magic of today. Robert Segal writes this:

The cinema blocks out the outside world and substitutes a world of its own. The more effective the film, the more the audience forget where they are and imagine themselves in the time and place on the screen. Things are permitted in films that never happen in the ‘real world.’ In films, anything is possible.

Synchronicity
One type of magic that I’ve noticed being talked about a lot recently is synchronicity. This is the idea that once you start to follow your dreams, things outside your control happen to you that help your dreams come true.

The City
Finally, for me, the city is a place of magic. One of my favourite authors who writes about the magic of the city is Leonie Sandercock. She writes this:

If we look at cities as centres of spontaneous creativity and festival, then we come closer to an appreciation of the presence of spirit around us. Our deepest feelings about city and community are expressed on special occasions such and carnivals and festivals. Our highest levels of creativity are seen in art galleries or heard in symphony halls. But the nourishing of the spirit, or soul, also needs daily space and has everyday expressions: two women on a park bench ‘gossiping’; a group of students in a coffee shop discussing plans for a protest; an old Chinese man practising his tai chi on the beach or in a park; amateur musicians busking in front of cafes and museums; an old woman tending her garden; kids skateboarding among the asphalt landscaping of sterile bank plazas…

Your Magically Enchanted Mission

magic-garden
Photo by Randy Son Of Robert.

Whether you live in a town, a city, or the countryside, carry a sprinkle of fairy dust with you in your pocket tomorrow.

And don’t forget to look for fairies at the bottom of your garden. Remember to be quiet and move slowly; fairies are very shy.

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18 Responses to "Aspects of Playfulness: Magical Enchantment"

I just stumbled across this blog today. I loved this! I have three children. It is amazing how freeing and light hearted you can become while diligently seeking fairies, four leaf clovers, or even a lost magic rock that fits a certain description dropped in the middle of the driveway.

I definitely believe in magic – I think it’s all around us as energy that can be channeled into something good šŸ™‚

Kat,
Thanks for visiting – I’m really glad that you enjoyed this post. It isa wonderful feeling looking for magical things, although I’ve yet to find a four-leafed clover. šŸ™‚

Chelle,
I’ve been thinking about the sacred energy around us too. I find it interesting how some places energy, whilst others leave me feeling drained.

Christmas..oh how I love that time of year. I love the lights and the music. If I had my way, it would be Christmas year round so I could have my lights twinkling as I listen to beautiful Christmas music. For me, it’s truly magical, and I become a kid again.

Disneyland did that for me too. What a great memory!

Ah yes…magic…count me among the believers!

Thank you for inviting me to your site..I am so happy that I came. I love your positive messages and your honesty.

A good energy here…I’ll be back.

I’m always reminded of that bit in the Bible where it says to entertain strangers, cos you never know when you might be entertaining angels in disguise. I like to think of angels as being like everyday people (as in What a Wonderful Life) you bump into just when you need a ‘hug from heaven’. Just as you’re feeling happy cos they’ve been like ‘whisky for the soul’ and enriched your life, you suddenly wonder whether there was something magical about the moment.

There have been two moments in my life, where I like to think I met an angel.

One was on an airplane to Dallas, when I was feeling really low about my worklife. I had the most enriching conversation with this lady, who really encouraged me. Usually if I meet cool people, I immediately swap emails, but with this lady I forgot. I like to think someone intervened so I didn’t ask an angel for their email address!

The other time I was standing on a lonely train platform in the middle of nowhere in the dark, and I was feeling really anxious…so I started praying that God keep me safe. Then this train came along on the other side, at the end of his shift. The driver shouted out of the window that my train would arrive in 10 mins. Then he kept his train there with all its lights on, until my train arrived. Surely, he must’ve had to go somewhere else to ‘park’ the train for the night.

Maybe they were just nice people, but it makes me feel so excited to imagine that they might have been angels in disguise! šŸ™‚

I really liked this post David. I believe in fairies and magic. I also agree with Hiranya and believe in guardian angels like in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I also agree that magical times of year have been commercialised and I sometimes struggle with that when celebrating, particularly Christmas. For the past few years I have asked my parents to get me a “gift for life” as my present from Christian Aid. However as well as buying that, they feel they can’t leave me out and buy me something else as well. It really frustrates me. I suggest for getting some of the magic back into Christmas is that your decorations be centred around the true meaning of Christmas, the nativity, and also make some. Its more ethical and also helps the creative spirit.

Also like Hiranya I would like to think that I have met an angel in this life too. I had been to Asda to get my weekly shopping, except I had bought way too much food and I was struggling to carry it back to my house. I kept having to stop every few yards for a break. Then when I had only got half way back, it started pouring down with rain. I had no coat and I was getting drenched. Across the road from me was a taxi and the driver called over to me and said he would give me a lift. When I got back to my house I fully expected to have to pay for the taxi ride but the driver refused to let me pay. He was very generous and I was so grateful.

David,

This is one of your best posts. It’s good to go back in time to feel the joy and excitement that I felt about Christmas and other holidays. I’m getting nostalgic. As you’ve pointed out, what if we bring those feelings in our daily life? Life then becomes a playful ground lush with trees of happiness..

Shilpan

Barbara,
I love the Christmas market in Manchester, it has somehow managed to retain a traditional touch and a magic sparkle. It is one of my favourite places, and is a very special treat to visit in winter.

And I will never forget my childhood trip to Disneyland.

gypsy-heart,
I’m glad you like it here šŸ™‚ – thank you for accepting my invite. I look forward to what your future comments.

Hiranya,
Thanks for those stories! My favourite ‘angel in disguise’ story from my life is when I was waiting for a bus at a bus station in Sweden, my first time travelling alone and I was very lost! I thought I was in the right place, but it turned out I was completely the wrong end of the bus station. Still, a bus drove up and asked ‘are you David Masters?’ Slightly surprised, I nodded and got on – and it took me where I needed to get to!

Siona,
Thank you for your stories too! I really like your idea of giving to help others in the world at Christmas, and Ioved your story about the angel taxi driver.

Whenever I’m immersed in a project every day feels like Christmas. When that feeling goes away, I simply poke around until something new lights me up. To me the magic in life is to be involved in the creative process… the word enthusiasm is from the Greek, meaning to be filled with god. I’ve never understood people who need alcohol or drugs to get high.

Great post! Thanks.

David,
I love this post!
I have to tell you though, I believe in magic with all my heart and soul. Maybe because I’ve had young kids for 31 years, maybe because I refuse to grow up, maybe because I keep seeing the magic happen, I don’t know…maybe because I have found four-leaf clovers…

Listen very carefully David, you can hear the fairies whisper.
Not just the mean old ones, but the pretty ones too.
There is magic everywhere.

[…] blogosphere, the guide to playful blog posts across the realms of cyberspace. Following my post on Magical Enchantment I’ve started seeing magic everywhere. It’s amazing what you see when your eyes are open to […]

Jean,
For me it’s when I start a project that feels like Christmas. I find it difficult to get immersed and have to motive myself. What you said reminds me of your post on sacred space.

Wendi,
I’m really glad you enjoyed this post! I’ll be listening even more carefully now…

šŸ™‚ yeah!

hehe, it seems to be part of being human to believe in things we cannot see. I’m happy to be a part of this circle of believers!

[…] photos is a great way to notice the everyday magic that is all around you.Ā  Looking for shapes and colours, you begin to see the world you inhabit […]

[…] n. opposite of mundane enchantment, vb. to get lost in […]

[…] n. opposite of mundane enchantment, vb. to get lost in […]

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