Photo by Johannes Plenio
“There’s magic in the world. And it’s waiting to be found!” That was what Zack and Gina Dore’s Aunt Aloysia always said just before she left. She never told them what she meant. She never explained anything, ever. Never told them when she was coming, either. Just arrived, then left, a week later, an hour later, and never a word about when she’d be back. She was like one of those ultraviolet lights that let you see things you didn’t know were there.
When Aloysia was present you suddenly realized the world wasn’t the way you thought it was, and the things you thought you had control over, you didn’t. For example:
When Zack was seven-years-old, he noticed that the Centerburg Northern freight train always took precisely eight minutes to pass Middleton. Always. So he’d come to think of Middleton as exactly eight minutes long. He’d taken comfort in this, secure in the fact that he lived in an eight-minute-long town. But then one day, right after one of Aunt Aloysia’s visits, the train hurtled past in four minutes.
How did Middleton suddenly get to be four-minutes-long? It bugged him, really bugged him. If Middleton could change, what else could? Would he wake up one day and find his dad turned into a hippopotamus? His house into a lake? His sister into a bowl of ice cream? (Well, some change can be good.) Of course, he was older now, and understood about things like rate and motion. Still, he’d never felt quite as certain about anything since then. After all, if time and distance weren’t fixed, then what was?
Because, like ants in the pantry, the uncontrollable, the unknown, will always find a way in. Always. And for the Dore family…
The way in was Aunt Aloysia.
Thoughts: Is our concept of reality, like Zack’s, based on our lack of awareness of a larger Reality? And if there really is “magic in the world,” what needs to change before we can find it? Will it be wonderful? Or terrifying? Or both?
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