That's my broccoli, which is growing circles around the other sprouts.
When I was a kid, I didn't ask my parents for pets half as much as I asked them if I could grow a garden. Strangely enough, they were always leery of my request, as if I could destroy the backyard with tomato plants. The horror!
Whoa, ahem, channeling my teenage self there a little too much.
What I'm trying to say is that I've always had an interest in gardening, but haven't really had the chance to do it until recently. The townhouse we live in now has a little strip of dirt in the back, and one in the front. I can't tell you how excited I was about that when we moved in. I could grow things!
I've made some mistakes. Much like writing, I tend to learn by doing really stupid stuff at first, like buying half-shade plants in the Utah desert. Sure, my front yard may only get "half-shade," but in Utah that's the equivalent of a whole day. Eh, live and learn, right?
And I have learned a lot, but no matter how much I know, when my seeds sprout it still feels like magic. Water, dirt, and sun—that's all it takes to make food or beautiful flowers or trees. I've known that since I was a child, but every time I plant I always have this thought, "Maybe they won't come up this year. What if I watch them and water them and all I get is dirt?"
I'm always wrong.
As I watch those seeds emerge from the soil and stretch their tiny leaves to the sun, I can't help but feel the magic. Because it IS magic, no matter how much I know about the science of growing things.
I've always found that interesting, how people tend to lose the magic just because they know how something works. It's as if people think magic is supposed to be this easy thing that just works with zero effort. The second there is any evidence of work, magic becomes science or craft or years of practice. I'm not sure why, but when we see how the "smoke and mirrors" are used, we think that the magic is gone.
I beg to differ.
We might see the magic differently, but knowing how magic works doesn't make it any less magical, just like knowing the science of how seeds grow doesn't make it any less amazing every time they sprout. For me, sometimes it makes it even better. I admire the work and complexities that go into making something look so completely effortless.
Look at those cute little green onions! I'm a proud mama.
Same goes for writing. Boy, have I learned a lot about the magic of writing and publishing. It definitely changed my view, but has it made writing any less magical? Nope. Every time I start a new book, the idea sprouts like a seed and grows before my eyes. It's definitely hard work, watering and weeding and tending that seed, but it's miraculous all the same. I don't think work and knowledge can ever take that away, nor can repetition. Writing book 12 has been just as magical as book 1, if not more because I know just how hard it is.
From everything I've ever seen, magic is a lot of work. It takes practice. It can go wrong. But no matter how much you know, it's always magic. It always fills me with a sense of wonder. It always puts a smile on my face when I get it right. And that, to me, is worth it.