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Believe in the magic that words can't describe

I was lying around the other evening, just hanging out on a hot summer night. The kind where you can walk outside and the warm air just wraps itself around you like a lover’s arms. The kind where you don’t feel chilly at all; where you can wear just a light, spaghetti strap top or t-shirt, go barefoot through the park, and you swear you can see all the stars in the universe overhead. No clouds at all, just a clear, starlit summer sky.

The words to a John Sebastian song came into my head as I lay there enjoying that summer night, random sounds from down the street and faraway chords from someone’s guitar drifting in through my open window:

Do you believe in magic in a young girl's heart. How the music can free her, whenever it starts

And it's magic, if the music is groovy, it makes you feel happy like an old-time movie

I'll tell you about the magic, and it'll free your soul,

But it's like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and roll.

Do you believe in magic? I do. I don’t mean magic tricks with a guy in a shiny tuxedo and white gloves impressing with feats of prestidigitation. Though fun to watch, I know that the magic words “Open Sesame” don’t really open doors, though sometimes we might like to believe so. I’ve seen enough of life to know that dealing with reality demands awareness, mindfulness and a keen sense of observation.

The magic I am talking about is, for me, something else entirely. It is the “magic” that we feel when there are no words to describe it. When we know something is real, but we can neither see nor touch it. It is the magic of wishing on a shooting star and then closing your eyes tightly, hoping with all your heart that your wish will come true; of walking down the street and having a total stranger smile and say, “Good morning! You wear it well!” Of sitting with friends in the bright sunshine at an outdoor cafe, laughing, drinking coffee or wine and solving the problems of the world; of hearing frogs croaking, remembering fireflies we’ve caught, and planning camping trips.

“Believe in the magic that can set you free ... ” the song goes.

Summertime brings a magic of its own, with strolls in the park, swimming in cold, clear water, dancing at outdoor parties with strands of Chinese paper lanterns and the full moon providing the only light after the sun has gone to bed. The magic of dreaming dreams and falling in love.

A sense of magic is in understanding that we cannot control everything and that it is sometimes important to suspend the cerebral — that we need to be creative, compassionate, and to believe in enchantment and romance. And, yes, maybe even a little fairy dust, too, thrown in for good measure.

Summertime gives us a chance to relax, to savor a perfectly ripe peach where the juice runs down your chin when you bite into it, to wear fewer clothes, to stretch out in the sand. The joys of summer bring their own magic and can rejuvenate us. Delight in the moments and remark on the beauty of the pink summer roses in their full, yet brief, bloom, and of sweet, summer berries ready to be plucked.

And listen to the words of the song as they waft through the air on a soft, sultry summer night:

If you believe in magic, come along with me, we'll dance until morning 'til there's just you and me. And maybe, if the music is right, I'll meet you tomorrow, sort of late at night

And we'll go dancing, baby, then you'll see,

How the magic's in the music and the music's in me.

Award-winning author, TV presenter and world traveler Susanne Severeid is an Ashland resident who enjoys making time for the important things in life — including mocha. Read more of her columns at bit.ly/adtssmm. For more, go to www.susannesevereid.com. Email her at susannewebsite@olypen.com.