2017 Coins in the Moroccan Fountain at the Hawaii State Art Museum

Little Acts of Magic

I’ve been watching the series, Once Upon a Time, on Netflix and came across a scene in an episode that spoke to my soul. The scene shows a teenage boy in New York who, in desperation to get his lost family members back through restoring magic to our world, climbs atop lion statue at the top of some stairs and makes a plea to the people in the area to throw a coin into a nearby fountain and make a wish.

The boy tells the people: “My family is in danger, but we can save them… with magic.” Despite being met with chuckles from the crowd, he insists, “I know how crazy it sounds, but magic is real. It’s all around us. You just have to be willing to see it. You have to be willing to believe. And I know how hard that is. I once let my own belief waiver. But I was wrong. We need magic. It can make the world a better place. I know it seems impossible, but think about it… at some point in your life, every one of you was once a believer. And at some point, you left that part of you behind. But you can go back to it if you believe.”

He then appeals to the group to go to the fountain and make a wish.

By this point in the scene, I was bawling because there was so much truth in his speech.

Every child has the innate belief in magic. In America, many of us believe in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. We use sticks as magic wands and think that straddling a broom will make us fly. We think that there is a Leprechaun and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We believe in the power of wishes made on birthday candles and on coins tossed into fountains and on shooting stars and by holding your breath as you drive through a tunnel. We have “imaginary” friends from other worlds and believe that there are mystical, magical beings like unicorns and dragons. And we believe and we believe and we believe… until something or someone tells us we shouldn’t. Until we are shamed into non-belief.

And when, as adults, we are faced with experiences that are undeniably magic in nature, we write those moments off as temporary bouts of insanity. Because we all know, know that can’t be real. Because there’s no such thing as magic. And to believe otherwise is unacceptable in our reality.

But the boy in the TV show was absolutely right. For all of us who may have left the part of us that once believed in magic behind us, we can go back if we believe. I know that “belief” is a word that carries a huge burden — people die for their beliefs. But it doesn’t have to feel that way.

It just needs to start with those little acts of magic that let the universe know that there are those who still believe. So the next time you pass a fountain, toss in a coin and make a wish and believe that the universe has heard you. Because it has. The magic is real. We just have to be willing to see. And willing to believe.


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