I Don’t Know its Name, so I Call it Magic

As you (re)discover the wonders of spring, consider the following from The Secret Garden:

“The great scientific discoveries I am going to make, will be about Magic.  Magic is a great thing, and scarcely anyone knows anything about it except for a few people in old books… I am sure there is Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us – like electricity and horses and steam.

When Mary found this garden it looked quite dead.  Then something began pushing things up out of the soil and making things out of nothing.  One day things weren’t there and another they were.  I have never watched things before, and it made me feel very curious.  Scientific people are always curious, and I am going to be scientific.  I keep saying to myself: “What is it? What is it?”  It’s something.  It can’t be nothing.  I don’t know its name, so I call it Magic.  I have never seen the sun rise, but Mary and Dickon have, and from what they tell me I am sure that is Magic, too.  Something pushes it up and draws it.  Sometimes since I’ve been in the garden I’ve looked up through the trees at the sky, and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something were pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast.  Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing.  Everything is made out of Magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people.  So it must be all around us.  In this garden – in all the places.”

Burnett, FH (1911). The Secret Garden.(pp. 185-186 ). London, England: The Folio Society.


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