You have been transformed into a mystical being who has the ability to do magic. Describe your new abilities in detail. How will you use your new skills?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us ENCHANTMENT.
It seems such a childish thing doesn’t it? To be “a mystical being who has the ability to do magic”. I used to often play with my childhood friends at being strange, fantastic creatures in our home village. It was a very quiet village indeed, and we could get away with wearing all sorts of silly clothing we could find. My favourite thing to be would often be a “warrior wizard” – someone who can conjure magic as well as being, for example, an expert swordsman. NERD ALERT!
Our village was serene and peaceful. I remember being told that it would be a hamlet if not for the church, because it basically consisted of two streets, a park, a church and graveyard, a village hall, a small wood workshop and houses, usually containing old people and their dogs. However, this village provided the perfect escape for five, extremely imaginative young children, and we used to walk far out of the village, along the river and into the wilderness. It was here, in the grass fields and deciduous trees that shed their leaves in autumn to create splendours of gold and copper, with the sound of the river water gently churning against the pebbles on the bank, that we created fantasy worlds that only we maintained.
This was the proper meaning of the word, ‘enchanting‘. It was roasting hot in the Summer, viciously cold in Winter. I remember the light shining down through the leaves of the tree on the bank where our favourite part of the river was. We used to have barbecues on the riverside, and swim in the cool, but not cold, waters of the river, along with the fish and various birds. The animals were very tame and calm, and often would let us walk right past them (or swim right past them)!
I have, in fact, always felt a deeper connection with water, however not a superstitious one. It originated and took its full effect in the mind of small me, and I used to pretend (I cringe to remember!) at being some kind of superman who could shape water. I thought this was a beautiful idea – I still do! I wanted to create sculptures out of water that would be maintained through some kind of magical force, I seem to remember, and fight off the evil creatures that lurked in the woods with the same power over water. I think this connection with water originated with the love of the river itself – I was heartbroken to leave the village to continue my schooling at another school. My friends didn’t want my little brother and I to leave the village either: I remember fondly of “protests” to try to persuade our mother to let us stay in the village.
Alas, this magic, Tolkien-esque world that we lived in could not live forever, no matter how many of my childhood stories it influenced. But I wish it had…
If I had superpowers (being very selfish here!), I would firstly be able to time-travel back to god-knows-when to when the five of us were playing at our riverside paradise. Secondly, I would have the ability to manipulate water, as I wanted back then, and I would show them what I could do, as I would have wanted back then.
That would be Enchantment.