“Is it magic?,” my sister would ask, holding up her hand to show me beach glass, wildflowers, pine cones, pennies, bird feathers, chandelier droplets, whatever she had found.
I would peer at it, then pronounce “Could be.” Enough of an endorsement, she placed the treasure in my old cloth purse.
Each piece of potential magic was lovingly kept in her room. She pressed the flowers, organized the beach glass by color and filled small, wide-mouth vases with the prettiest and most magical stones.
I secretly created a book full of photographs, drawings, maps, flash fiction fairy tales, with lots of blank pages so she could add magic of her own. She clutched “Is This Book Magic?”, teary-eyed as I left to see the world.
I cleaned out her apartment, a tiny attic space in an old Victorian house. I left the bedroom/office for last. Her most personal things were there. Chipped charity shop plates with colorful stones, framed pressed flowers and plants. Time and illness hadn’t changed her.
There was still her hospital suitcase to empty. I found “Is This Book Magic?” on top of her clothes, folded open to a page of her poems. She had filled the blank pages with her own words and pictures. Notated the maps, written marginalia. Pages worn from years use.
I closed the book. Under the title on the cover, she had written, “Yes, it is.”