I must confess a secret (or not particularly secret, if you look at my bookshelves) liking for Harry Potter. Many of my Christian friends were wholly opposed to the books, and I understand why (although I think they missed the boat). They understand this though: magic is dangerous. It reminds us that parts of the world are secret, hidden, not part of ordinary reality. Harry Potter reminds me to believe in the unexpected. "There are more things in your heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy".

I have always been fascinated with magic. I'm not talking what we might call the occult, the real practice of magic, or pan-pagan religions. Those are real, and as a Christian, they make me distinctly uncomfortable. No, I'm talking about the magic of fairy tales, the magic of mythology, the magic of magicians - what I would call everyday magic. The ability to make something seem like something else. The ability to take one thing, and turn it into something else. The ability to make the brain disbelieve what it knows it must be seeing.

I have always considered the process of creation to be a form of magic. We take an idea, a seed, a blank canvass, an ovum and sperm, and something comes out of it. We can describe the process through biology, through chemistry, through words, but when we do that, when we bound our thoughts or actions, or the process of a growing thing, we perhaps lose the magic. This is every day magic magic Harry Potter made me aware of. The idea that secret things are happening all around us. Things that we don't control, aren't aware of, and influence in ways that we don't understand.

I remember crossing the river that runs through Edmonton on the subway. It was dark. And I looked around me, and I wondered what a settler from Fort Edmonton in 1795 would have thought of this city of a million that had grown up around where they camped. I'm sure it would have been incomprehensible. Lights on posts. With no candles. Cars and not horses, a train that travelled across the river, not along it. I'm sure they would have not been able to understand it. I'm sure it would have looked like magic. Things we don't understand always seem a bit magical. I think that's why children are so inclined to magical thinking. They don't understand the way the world works, they aren't bounded by physics and chemistry, and they can make up their own explanations. They aren't stuck in everyday, ordinary life.

I have been reading about the hope vs. not hope idea in pregnancy and infertility. Is it better to hope each cycle, hope each pregnancy, or to not? And for the record, I don't know which is best. I'm always in favour of hope. I'm always in favour of believing in the best, and preparing for the worst. But hope, it is a tenuous thing. A belief in something, that exists outside the bounds of what is normal. Hope, by my definition of magic above, is an idea we don't completely understand. We can't understand. I'm not even completely sure that you can control it. But I tend to believe it's always a good idea to step away from the ordinary.

I read a blog about someone choosing hope for this cycle, choosing to believe in the best, (and I can't remember who it was, I'm sorry.) And I thought of the words of Anne of Green Gables. Marilla told her that she set too much store in worldly things. Anne would get all excited, and then she crashed down, and her whole world ended. And Anne, with tears streaming down her face, said yes, but the flight of delicious anticipation made up for the crash.

yes. That's magic. Everyday, ordinary, complete magic.