Magic Bubbles / by Michelle Cowan

“Chef! Chef!” my neighbor’s granddaughter Alexa cries. She can’t quite say my name, and Chef is as close to Michelle as she’s ever heard. “The bubbles!”

Alexa blows a stream of bubbles from the plastic wand her grandmother holds and chases them to the other end of the courtyard. Standing in the empty space where the bubbles floated and popped, she calls, “Come back! Come back!” Over and over, the bubbles are blown and followed by her futile request.


Something in this scene warms my heart. Since childhood, I have never stopped crying out for the bubbles to return. When magic comes into my life and fades, I stand in the vacant space and beg it to reappear. Those sparks of magic sustain me but also keep me wanting more.

Nonetheless, watching Alexa chase the bubbles reminds me of magic’s everpresence. If I look for it with earnest patience, magic reveals itself. Furthermore, I am free to grieve when it passes and begin looking for it to emerge in new, unexpected clothing.


It starts to rain, and her grandmother asks if she’d like to come inside. “No,” Alexa replies. She prefers to stand in the grass and feel the magic run down her skin.