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September 4, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Magic doesn’t weight

He’s not there, I know that…but perhaps he left a little. Some might have slid out of a box – on purpose. He’d do that.

Before Dumbledore, another enchantment quietly searched for those ready.

Fall River, Rocky Mountain National Park /Footwarrior /

Fall River, Rocky Mountains/Footwarrior/

Oddly so much the same:

Twisted path there.

Crags, cliffs, lakes, wind, and whispering dark forests.

An imposing castle, complete with ghostly sights and moans, commanding attention high above the village.

A footpath over the river, and through the woods, (Yes, just like the song – only no Grandmother waiting).

A large creaking water wheel (cheerfully assuring no trolls lurked) hurried visitors across the rough bridge to the door of a small brown cottage with a drooping roof on the edge of town’s shops.

Hagrid would have felt comfortable there. Beasts, legends, and magic.

Estes Park, CO/Stanley Hotel District. Nat.Reg.of Historic Places/Renoman58 /

Stephen King’s “The Shining”inspired by the Stanley Hotel.(Nat.Reg.of Historic Places/Renoman58/

The heavy swollen door always stuck with a slightly sour old wood smell as it was shoved. A brass bell over the door would wake and giggle encouragement. Rainbows from window prisms washed the room.

And he looked up across the glass counter.

As if he’d known forever that they were coming and was pleased they’d found their way.

The Almost Sisters.

While friends, not twins, almost mirror images: mid-elementary school age, all flailing legs, knees, ankles, elbows, and streamers of pale hair.

Still young enough to roll out of bed early and bounce down trails in rumpled clothes and no makeup.

Brave enough to silently creep up on the buffalo herd – and smart enough to know when noticed and run faster than everyone else in the meadow without falling down.

Silly songs. Vogue-ing videos

Duo almost always in motion – until the Magic Shop.

no permissions granted all rights reserved. copyright

A door unexpectedly whooshed opened.

Suddenly enthralled as they surfed rolling waves of magic.

No more interest in tourist trinkets. No, couldn’t compare with stacks of wonders.

The afternoon Magic Show on the Green was always on the scheduled. Never forgotten.

He noticed their intense scrutiny of each trick’s moves.

Shortly they conned him into spilling the secrets. (It didn’t take much begging.)

An afternoon pattern emerged: while the Magician closed shop and ate his sandwich at a table in the meadow, they’d demonstrate their newest lesson.

He’d laugh and play the audience along with the Rocky Mountain Jays in the trees who, some say, came for the crumbs – of food, wit, or magic? A tough audience to practiced banter on in any case.

In the shop he’d pull the “special ones” out of the case – the real ones professionals used. If the girls couldn’t decide, he’d point out “You are good at this type of move, so this one would be better than that. Try it this way.”

At the end of a few weeks, his apprentices left with bags of tricks and much to practice all the way home and all winter long.

The Magician, too, closed shop and left for winter quarters, smiling at his protégés’ progress. His work begun and done.

Historic water wheel in Estes Park/

Pure childhood magic. Wade in the creek. Watch a magician on the green. Water wheel always troll vigilant.(

Each year summer magic waited until that door was shoved open. The shop’s bell jingled them inside.

Until mountain summers went into hibernation as other opportunities begged for attention.

Adventures continued, but the girls eventually sorted into different houses and paths.

One seems to have packed all her gathered magic – juggling it like a jester with joy.

The other seems to have misplaced hers and wanders lost with vague unfocused eyes.

Hotel featured in "The Shining".Stanley Hotel. Estes Park, CO/PD by Sgerbic/

Frozen. The magic only slumbers. (Stanley Hotel/USPD:Sgerbic/

Need to travel back to that small dark brown cottage past the waterwheel over the bridge at the edge of town. (It dutifully continues to warn trolls away.)

The store now stands dark and empty, I know.

Window stark without rainbows as her life seems to be.

But perhaps a little bit clings to the corner of the window sill? Or tucked just inside the swollen door jamb?

He’s bound to have known and left an emergency portion.

Magic can’t simply disappear. Can’t be totally erased from a place. It lingers.

Where’s one tiny piece? Even a smidgen could jump-start that forgotten spark.

From the trees the jays watch. One holds a bright shiny piece in his beak.

“Fly,” I call. “Fly. Find her. Please. Guide her through one last trick: Magic to lighten life’s weight.”

The best one saved until last.

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

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Silver lining? Nice trick, Dumbledore! ©




  1. easyweimaraner / Sep 4 2014 12:45 pm

    that was my first thought too: the Overlook Hotel, hope the twins are not on your blog now :o) I sometimes wish more of this magic would be survive inside of this childs when they are adults :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2014 1:47 pm

      The Shining was so real to us – could see it happening there. After the girls read that book, we had to actually stay at the Stanley – which is very similar to the movie hotel and very much haunted…they have ghostly tours…and if you miss those, the ghosts will visit you. I don’t think they slept at all.
      Hold tight to magic, Easy. It’s the only hope (and if you share little pieces, it just grows) Thanks for joining the magical wanderings


  2. Fearless Leader / Sep 4 2014 12:46 pm

    I lived in Colorado on and off for over 20 years and have been to Estes Park (home of the Standley Hotel) many times and have fished in Lake Estes. Entering Estes Park from the east you top a hill on Hwy Whatever Number It Is. Upon reaching the apex, the scene of the town literally *explodes* right in front of you. It’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

    FYI – my Mom still lives In CO, about an hour away from Estes Park.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2014 1:42 pm

      You amble through those canyons and wind around bends then suddenly that place bursts into view at your feet – it really is magical. We have family in two spots near there (lucky people!). We should all go park and tell them to meet us there. Something energizing about the place…some say it’s magic. Was for real then. Thanks for hiking along


  3. gingerfightback / Sep 4 2014 1:05 pm

    Where would we be without magic!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2014 1:37 pm

      Where/in the condition most of the world resides in now? Must work to sustain and restore it! Thanks for doing your part


  4. Carrie Rubin / Sep 4 2014 1:15 pm

    What? The magician was willing to reveal his secrets? My magician son would shudder in horror at the thought. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2014 1:35 pm

      It took much longer than it sounds…they were quite persistent and determined…and parked themselves in that shop trying tricks until they wore him down – and he realized they learned fast and became skilled quickly. I realized this week he, being a large shoulder guy who kind of slumped over in the shop, that he physically reminded me of Hagrid – and his old dark wood cottage shop on a back street on the very edge of town…there is magic in mountains. Thought as a mom of magic kid you’d would get a kick out of it. Thanks for holding the magic hat.


      • Carrie Rubin / Sep 4 2014 1:51 pm

        My son attends a magic camp in the summer near Philadelphia. He’s gone two years in a row now. I believe it’s his raison d’être. 🙂


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2014 2:04 pm

          That’s so cool. I remember you talking about it (last year?) Magic camp – what idea great for kids. From what I’ve seen the skills, though processes, and stage presence are all beneficial and utilized in adulthood. Must hold tight to magic.


        • Carrie Rubin / Sep 4 2014 2:09 pm

          Absolutely. He attends the camp in the summer and then a magic convention in the fall (that’s the one I blogged about). I love that he’s still so passionate about it, but now that he’s in high school, we’ll see if that passion fades, only to be replaced by other hobbies (like girls…)


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2014 2:17 pm

          It may hibernate from view for a while, but he’s marked and will always have some of it lurking waiting until time. (It’s been nice to see magicians on more shows recently – been out of the public spotlight for a while. It does leave an impact even on those who just observe.)


        • Carrie Rubin / Sep 4 2014 2:22 pm

          Yes it does. In fact, we’re going to see The Illusionists in November. They’re doing a limited tour across the US. Needless to say my son’s excited.


  5. susielindau / Sep 4 2014 2:43 pm

    I wrote about my night at the Stanley which still gives me chills!
    How long were you there?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2014 3:06 pm

      I remember that one – that place does have a presence…there’s that one room that’s locked…
      That was the year after they read “The Shining”. We decided to stay there 3 nights around July 4th (then back down by Fall River – which has the best sound….when it isn’t flooding like last year). The Stanley offers great view of the fireworks without having to park or walk for miles and is anything better than an afternoon drink there on the veranda? (Did you ever go in that magic shop on the side street by the water wheel? It was really curious and fun. I just realized this week that the magician owner reminded me of Hagrid without the long hair and beard…and his dark brown cottage store front – the whole town was so much like Harry’s town.)
      Thanks for swooping by
      (Cool there yet? Dog coat here signaling cold winter.)


      • susielindau / Sep 4 2014 10:48 pm

        It was nearly 100 yesterday and today 75!
        I will have to check out the magic shop next time. I’ve been at the Stanley when it has given me the shivers and other times it was just like any other hotel!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2014 11:38 pm

          Whew! Whiplash weather. Only 92 here. We never got over 99 last month and hope of “cool-ish” front maybe next week.
          The magic shop disappeared from that location some time ago -but it may have re-emerged in a different location. Things do there.
          Put those feet up and make use of that patio.


  6. PiedType / Sep 4 2014 6:14 pm

    The magic is always there, in one place or another. Which reminds me, this is THE month to get up there.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2014 6:24 pm

      Certainly those rocks in your post are magic – even with the explanations. (trying to work on objective…fingers crossed. Flooding prevented last time). Thanks for shuffling the cards and leaving a comment


      • PiedType / Sep 4 2014 6:45 pm

        Yes, I’ve been thinking how much different it was up there last Sept.


  7. colonialist / Sep 4 2014 10:07 pm



  8. EllaDee / Sep 5 2014 2:34 am

    Wonderful post – there’s many kinds of magic such as the kind you conjure with words; and as you’ve so beautifully woven the tale, people, places and events which are magic. They remain forever so in their moments, so we can visit them 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 5 2014 5:28 pm

      If we speak of magic, it lives…actually it manages on its’ own despite all…as long as there’s children at heart, laughter, and joy. Flourishes in some places more than others – rare in concrete boxes, though. Thanks for the magical words – hope your weekend is enchanting!


  9. Paul / Sep 5 2014 5:54 am

    Seeing magic in its natural element is wondeful. Not on TV but rather in the community. Personally I think we humans have a hard wired desire to believe. Some put ther trust in money, some in love, some in themselves. Those who trust in magic have somehing they can hold in their hand that makes them personally special. Exclusive. And it links into everything else in the world. It’s not a far step from magic to faith.

    Great Post Phil.

    Oh,,as an aside I did a guest post today over on Cordelia’s Mom I’d be honored if you had the time to droop by for a read. Thank You.


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