“Creativity is really the structuring of Magic.” ~ anne kent rush
Much of my extended family had the opportunity to spend some time together down on the Gulf Coast of Florida this past week. In spite of some brisk weather, at least for Florida, we spent time beach combing, playing games and drawing….
My new sketchbook is now broken in with drawings I was able to spend time creating, a welcome change from the to-do lists, grocery lists, and general notes-to-self that tend to usurp my drawings. Handy for maintaining sanity in my wild day-to-day life, but not as good for the soul as a few hours with my watercolor set and some mummified sea life.
On one of the colder days down there we visited the Suncoast Seabird Santuary where we saw all sorts of birds recuperating from various injuries. Amazing to get close enough to study and draw these birds which normally fly away before I get a chance to nail down an image of them worth finishing in watercolor later. It was a great opportunity! Pelicans are so very dinosaur-like in my opinion.
Most mornings we ate at a little diner in Pass-a-Grille called the Seahorse. I enjoyed doodling over coffee.
Much of my kids’ childhood has been spent reading, listening to or watching the books and movies of the Harry Potter series. We read aloud most of them (multiple times) and we have collectively awaited the arrival of each new book or movie as the story has developed. Rowling’s stories have provided a modern mythology for kids and adults alike, introducing us to a world where beauty and magic, friendship and adventure, are a natural part of everyday life. So many times we have turned the last page of a book in the series, or left one of the movies, remarking to each other how amazing it would be to actually be a part of the world of Harry Potter.
A highlight of our trip to Florida was the day we spent at the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Normally being the type of person that avoids things like theme parks, I was a little skeptical that the Universal Studios park would live up to all the hype, much less to what we were able to conjure in our imaginations. But this is what my daughter wanted for Christmas more than anything else…. so we went for it. We were not disappointed. The sheer artfulness and respect for the story’s gorgeous little details, combined with park workers who were cheerful in spite of the crushing crowds made for a magical day. We sipped butterbeers (I have begun to research the various available recipes out there for this stuff. Deelish!!!), bought stamps at the owl post and followed Harry out on the Quidditch pitch for a flight on a broomstick (I’m still a little nauseous just thinking about it!)
I even sketched a bit when the crowds in the candy store became a bit much for me. Speaking of which, our favorite wizarding candies are the Fizzing Whizbees.
While at the park, it was inspirational for me to think that here is this entire beautiful world, created by one person’s fabulous imagination. In the case of JK Rowling, creativity really is, the structuring of magic.
In the end, the magic was not all at Harry Potter world. On New Year’s Eve day the weather was finally warm, the sun shining, and a perfect time to be out on the water in kayaks. My little brother and I went out in the Gulf past the waves where we were treated to the sight of dolphins swimming along side our boats. My kind of magic!
As this new year begins, it is my hope to do a better job taking the time to properly observe and be grateful for magical moments, big and small. Things like time spent with my sketchbook, working on a new tune or going for a good long run are my chosen tools to make this happen. What are yours?
Blessings to you in 2011.