When Rapunzel’s tears of love fell on the blinded prince’s eyes, his vision was restored. Beauty’s love transformed a beast into his true, handsome form. Both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, cursed into a death-like sleep, were awakened by true love’s kiss. In stories, the magic of love is the most powerful spell of all.
In our world, love has a different kind of magic.
I’m currently curled up on the couch, looking like a Snot Hag who’s recently crawled out of the Ancient Swamp of Eternal Suffering—greasy hair, one inflamed, reddened nostril (the other is still weighing its options and hasn’t committed to the war yet), and a greatly lowered IQ due to my need to breathe through my mouth. The noises coming out of my face are hideous and repulsive.
My husband is out at the store buying me tissues, juice, cold pills, and ice cream. There’s a good chance he’ll pick up a book or magazine for me, and an even greater likelihood he’ll come home with coloring books, a Pez dispenser, or a bottle of bubbles. No. Probably not that last one. He never lets me blow bubbles in the house.
The magic here is not that love will cure the common cold. It’s more like the magic in Demerol when you’re giving birth. It can’t cure you or even speed things up. The pain is still there, but you don’t care so much anymore. That’s how love treats the common cold, the pain of a rejection letter, or the hopelessness of a pile of overdue bills. It can’t take the problems away, but it can hold you up until you’re ready to face things again. Or you know, until your cold goes away.
There’s something else love does that’s so magical, it takes my breath away—or maybe that’s the congestion causing it.
My husband doesn’t see a Snot Hag with a low IQ sniffling on his couch. He sees a beautiful princess under a terrible enchantment.
And that's the most powerful spell of all.