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I don’t know how I did it or what I did exactly, but I’ve injured my back. The reason I’m telling you this isn’t sympathy or something more vulgar like woe is me. As pitiful as I might feel, I respectfully request that all pity be reserved for small animals in shelters or squirrels who can’t access bird feeders. 

It’s cruel, let the little buggers eat.

The reason I’m informing you of this personal bother is to warn you that I’m highly medicated. That’s right, to function on a base level, I have to ingest painkillers. The wee, teehee, oo shiny kind of pills. The kind of medication that glaze the eyes like a freshly baked doughnut. The kind that comes with a warning not to use heavy machinery or sign legal documents. 

These are goofy makers, and I have very little control over what I do or say at the moment. You’ve been warned so, proceed at your own leisure. This should be interesting, shouldn’t it?

These tiny pills, along with the injury, have put me in a bit of a mood. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what that mood is. I don’t have any feeling words to describe it. It simply is whatever the hell it is. It’s a…mood. How many times can I say that word? I should open a thesaurus and find a few synonyms, but I’m not in the mood to do that.

Damn it, I did it again. See? Do you see it? You see it. I’m in a, well, you know.

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When I put this through Grammarly, it’s going to have a field day with that paragraph. I might even fritz out the whole program with whatever comes next. Seriously, my head is a tangled, knotted ball of string. I should untangle it, but I don’t know where to start. Is it a good idea to pull on a frayed end and see what falls out?

Hmm, that could be interesting. Let’s see…Yeah, here’s one and…Yank! Watch out! Run for your lives…Just kidding, it’s a mothball. 

It’s another dark, grey, stormy day. The wind is shaking the windows, and the sky can’t decide if it wants to weep rain or snow. There’s a deep chill that’s seeping into my bones. I think it’s starting to wear me down, which is peculiar. I love the rain and its magical ability to renew and revive. I’m indifferent when it comes to snow. It’s just cold rain, but it makes things look pretty so, at least it’s got an upside.

The snain (rain plus snow equals snain) is tapping a steady, relaxing beat against the glass. It’s hypnotic, and I don’t hate it as long as I don’t have to go outside. I shiver at the thought. No, my friend, I’m going to stay right where I am. I’m curled up under a blanket with a cup of tea, a hot water bottle against my back, and flames flicker in the fireplace. This is perfection. It would take an act of madness to move from this spot.

Ah, stormy days are kind of the best.

Except when they bring trees down onto homes, cause rockslides, and trigger devastating events. Oh, now that is a mood killer and a drastic swing. One minute I’m all, “Oo shiny, pretty, sparkly.” Next, the Psycho theme song is playing in the background. It’s ominously annoying.

Sorry, but I did warn you. Clearly, if we have to use those pesky feeling words, my mood can be described as blah, sigh, and humbug. Fine, those aren’t technically “feeling words,” but it’s how I feel so, it counts. Right? Yeah, let’s go with it.

If pressed, I could give you a list of the reasons for my melancholy mental state that go beyond a back injury, but let’s forgo the gloom. We’ve just started a new year, and it’s too soon to go down into that quagmire. I’d rather stay in the holiday fantasy world where everything feels hopeful and happy endings are happy beginnings. Sure, things will get bumpy but fear not, it will right itself soon enough.

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Anything is possible in the land of candy canes and fireworks. Pretty red bows and mistletoe. Singing songs and dancing shoes. Laugh until you cry. Smile through the tears. It’s going to be okay. We’re still in Wonderland!

Or heavily medicated? Mm, it’s hard to tell.

Oh no, don’t pop the bubble. It’s a pretty bubble. I need the bubble. It’s the only thing keeping my mood in check. Without the bubble of magic and light? No, please, I don’t want it to deflate. Not yet, anyway. 

Perhaps it’s inevitable? No, begone you foul mood, begone! And just like that…Poof. Magic.

As the song goes, do you believe in magic? Not just in a young child’s heart but in the Grinches and Scrooge’s of the world. It’s the mysterious and the miraculous that turns the foulest amongst us into rays of golden light. Seemingly overnight, the moodiest of moods lifts, the grey clouds evaporate, and explosive laughter shatters the stillness.

No one thought it was possible, but there they are, forever changed by what? A spell or a flick of a wand? Is it a miracle or madness? Do you believe in magic, or are you more pragmatic? Perhaps you ask what they’re on so you can have some too? There’s no judgement here. 

How could I judge you given my current predicament? That would be silly.

No good comes from growing up, putting away our toys, and laughing at people who still believe in Santa, unicorns, and magical lands

When I was a kid, I loved stories of ordinary people finding magical places. I didn’t want to read about witches, wizards, or superheroes who got their powers from a funky sun. They were fine and had a place, but I wanted to hear about normal people who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances.

One of my favourite series was the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. My mom read it to me, and she did all the voices. When the movies came out— while I enjoyed them— I shook my head and whispered, “My Mom did the voices better.” My mom made those stories magically real.

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I don’t know how many closets, wardrobes, and paintings I explored with an almost desperate hope that I’d find my way into the storybook world. We travelled a lot so, whenever we visited a new place, I’d sneak into a bedroom, glance over my shoulder, and bite my lip. Maybe this was it? Behind those new doors, I’d find my very own Narnia.

Stormy days were perfect for my quest to discover new worlds in strange places. They felt more magical somehow. Like there was an electrical charge in the air that would open a portal, and I’d go on an adventure. I’d meet animals that could talk, and we’d become best friends. That’s all I wanted out of life. A chance to talk to animals because they’re my favourite people.

It’s with a great deal of sadness that I have to inform you that I never found a portal to a magical world. The elusive gateway evaded my extensive search. My quest failed, and I didn’t get to have dinner with a beaver or frolic with a fawn. After a while, my search ended, and I stopped believing in the impossible.

Do you remember when magic and fairy tales became nothing more than cute stories? If you still believe in that kind of thing? Oh, I’m jealous of you. Forget the people that tell you to grow up and face reality. Both are overrated, and, I’d argue, both are a plague on society.

Poor choice of words? Perhaps it’s too soon to flippantly use the P-word.

No good comes from growing up, putting away our toys, and laughing at people who still believe in Santa, unicorns, and magical lands. The moment we do that, life becomes heavy, and we have moods without feeling words or too many feelings to name. 

Why, oh why, did I listen to the voices telling me to grow up? Ah, what a silly goose I am. If I could go back in time, this would be the thing I’d change. I wouldn’t stop believing in magic. My quest would carry on, and I’d go to the ends of this earth looking for a way to have a chat with a horse because they seem like deep thinkers.

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Mm, I would like to believe in magic again. It would be a nice to embrace the fantastical instead of being such a logical realist. Who needs reality? Have you looked outside lately? The streets are flooding, the mountains are crumbling, and you can choose to read that literally or metaphorically.

On second thought, perhaps I haven’t lost that childlike sense of wonder and magic. Despite evidence to the contrary, I believe that there’s still a lot of good in our world. It might be faded, a bit jaded, but I cling to the belief that anything is possible if I hold on long enough. I believe in miracles so, there’s always a chance that life can turn from grey to gold in a blink of an eye.

Sure, I could argue with that belief and point out all the obstacles, but what if I forget that I’m a pragmatic adult for a little while? What if I pick up my quest where I left it? I’m as ordinary as they come, which means the extraordinary is possible. Perhaps I can find my own magic and create a portal to a fantastical new world. 

Or, the medication is starting to take hold, and I need a nap. It could go either way. But it wouldn’t hurt to look in that closet over there. You know, just in case.

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