What is Magic?

My 7 year old son and I were driving home from church a couple of weeks ago when he asked, “Mom, what is magic?”  I thought it was interesting he should ask me what that word meant because it is one I have been thinking about all summer.  I answered it the best I could and thoroughly enjoyed the many twists and turns our conversation took and as he kept asking me one question after another. 

I looked up the definition of Magic and this is what it said:

  1. The art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural.
    1. The practice of using charms, spells, or rituals to attempt to produce supernatural effects or control events in nature.
    2. The charms, spells, and rituals so used.
  2. The exercise of sleight of hand or conjuring for entertainment.
  3. A mysterious quality of enchantment: “For me the names of those men breathed the magic of the past” (Max Beerbohm).

My son’s idea of magic was more likely based on the first 2 parts of this definition–but for me it is the 4th one on that list.  When he asked me what magic was I told him I thought of “good magic” to be more like “miracles.”  All summer long I couldn’t help but notice the “magical” moments in my life–the miracles and blessings that surround me.  It is difficult to describe that “mysterious quality of enchantment” I feel during the simple moments I encounter on a daily basis.  Moments like listening to my 7 year old son ask endless questions as fast as his inquisitive mind will let him.  (And, though, sometimes the questions are tiring, I hope he never stops.)  Moments like seeing my daughter run across the yard to greet me screaming my name with a huge smile on her face.  Moments when I snuggle in bed with her at night and she reaches over to stroke my hair and tuck it behind my ears (because that is what I would do for her) and then she tells me, “Mom, I love you so much.”  Moments like secretly watching her play in her room with her baby dolls, and how she sings them to sleep and teaches them to pray before they go to sleep.  Moments like watching my now 10 year old son get so excited at beating his dad in football, or sharing books together we both have a hard time putting down.  Moments where I see him being considerate of others’ feelings and watching him spend time with someone who may feel left out.  Moments where I initially get so frustrated that my kitchen table is contantly cluttered with paper, crayons, markers, scissors, and glue–but then I look at the amazing pieces of art my kids create and I know some day I will miss my kitchen table being the working grounds of their creativity.  I could go on and on.  I think we all have these moments, and I feel especially blessed that I notice them and cherish them.  There really is something “magical” about them.  Many of these moments go undocumented by my camera, but there are a few I captured. 

This scene here is of the millions of fire flies I watched one summer evening.  

My husband and I were driving home one night from our date and we were in awe of all the fire flies we saw out in the fields.  They were truly amazing.  I couldn’t believe how many there were–they were like twinkling stars in the grass.  We stopped to watch them, but quickly decided I should pop my head out of the sun roof to get a better look.  My husband had the headlights out and started to slowly drive down the road while I stood through the sun roof to watch the fire flies.  The air was thick with the smell of honeysuckle, too–it was rather intoxicating and quite magical really.  After dropping my baby sitter off I went and grabbed my camera gear and headed out to the field to capture some pictures of them.  I decided my kids needed to see this for themselves.  So the next night I took them out to the field and my kids were so excited to see so many fire flies.  I had the biggest smile on my face as I watched my boys run around the field catching as many fire flies as they could.  There was really something magical about it all.  It is difficult to describe, as most “magical” moments are–they are something you “feel” and just have to experience for yourself.

There was another time I was sitting at my computer in the kitchen and I noticed how peaceful it felt.  I took a moment to notice what was going on around me.  My 7 year old some was engrossed in play with his pirate ships at the kitchen table (which is usually where he likes to pile up his toys to play).  My oldest son was practicing the piano, but what touched my heart and made me smile was to see my 4 year old daughter in there with him playing the guitar and singing (keep in mind the guitar was grossly out of tune and missing 2 strings).  Usually my son would be annoyed asking her to be quiet and leave the room, but instead he was singing along with her and enjoying the moment.  It was really sweet.  So I had to grab my camera and document the moment. 


So what is it that makes all these moments “magical?” I believe it is the LOVE that exists in and between us that makes them magical and unforgettable.  These moments are what life is all about.  I am very passionate about photography and when I first began to really delve into it you could say I was almost obsessive about it.  Much of the time it was like being on some kind of “high.”  I loved the feeling I got when I was driving down the road and I was envisioning an amazing photoshoot.  Or the nights I couldn’t sleep because all I could think about was these amazing moments I would capture with my camera.  I could see it so vividly–every detail.  I remember the excitement about getting a call from Professional Photographer magazine saying I placed in their National cover photo contest and they were printing my image in their magazine.  And I love the great satisfaction I feel when a client is thrilled with their photos and the memories I captured for them.  There is definitely some pretty great moments I experience as a photographer, but none of them compare to the joy and the love…THE MAGIC…I feel when I am with my own family.  And to be honest with you, what I really remember the most about many of the photoshoots I’ve done is the chemistry that existed within a family and what their family dynamics were like.  You can learn a great deal about a family or individual after photographing them for a couple of hours.  It is especially fun to go through the photos after a session and see the emotion captured and the love that exists between them.  The pictures full of emotion are often my favorite.  I value many of the relationships I have with my clients and am grateful to be a small part of their lives, too.  May we all cherish the “Magic” in our lives.  May these simple and special moments never go unnoticed and under-appreciated.  Our lives will be richer because of it.


  1. Kiana said . . .

    Beautiful post.
    Love the firefly photo! :)

    Posted July 5, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Permalink
  2. molly said . . .


    Posted July 5, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
  3. gina said . . .

    i LOVE this post… the firefly picture is so beautiful…

    Posted July 6, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  4. kamee said . . .

    i love this post too…so perfectly you!!

    Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:43 am | Permalink
  5. Kris Stone said . . .

    WOW. You captured fireflies? That is a dream of mine. Can you drop me a note on how you did that? Thanks

    Also, I understand the magic moments. The other day I was having a stressful day and then I noticed my two boys were sitting there so quietly eating their food. I knew I had to soak that moment in while it lasted. I wish I was a quick thinker like you to capture it! :D Great post!!

    Posted August 10, 2009 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

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