Thursday, July 7, 2011

In the soul of magic

We drove into DC today, which we do just often enough to preserve a sense of the familiar and just infrequently enough to maintain an awe of its majesty.

The lovely husband wasn't with us today, because our destination was his office and he was already there. However, when he and I are together and we're venturing anywhere beyond our own neighborhood, he always drives. He says I look around too much.

(He's right.)

E is developing quite an imagination for the stories of the architecture we see. It's a difference between the girls: L stares for the people. E stares for the environment. I love L's comments, but in this scenario my mind works more like E's.

As we get closer and closer to Capitol Hill, we pass block after block of DC's rowhouses.

L holds a monologue on the homeless people and the transvestite with the beautiful purple boots (That's a big, big, BIG lady with those purple boots, Mama!) and the panhandlers and the men selling bulk office chairs in a questionably legal way and the gaping tourists who are probably a few blocks further north than planned.

E, she looks at the structures. She notices the turret on the corner and praises the princess castle townhouse.

Mama, these are townhouses, right? You lived in a townhouse?

"These are called rowhouses, which aren't really that different from townhouses. Daddy and I lived in a townhouse before you were born and we bought the house we live in now."

What's the difference between townhouses and rowhouses?

"I don't know if there really is a difference, but when I think of townhouses I think of suburbs like where we live and when I think of rowhouses I think of cities. I think of brick instead of siding. I think of older buildings and more character. I think they have more magic inside them."


Well, why? Because I love cities and I'm showing my bias toward architecture that incorporates turrets and gables and Victorian trim? Because I love the old and the charm and the

the what?

The magic. It's just magic. How do I explain?

"They're so much older. They have more stories inside them. More stories were told inside their walls, and more stories were lived in their rooms and on their porches. And all magic lives in stories, don't you think?"

Yeah, Mama.


I think we figured out magic's soul, and I'm glad we always tell stories.

Mama? So the longer we live in our house, the more magic it has?

"I think so, love."

I think exactly that. Pin It