As children, the world of magic blends seamlessly with the real one, but as we get older, we feel pressure to leave magic behind. Still, human life is filled with natural mysteries — the Aurora Borealis, magnetism, fog, wind, and the pulsing of fireflies — that elicit a powerful sense of wonder that challenges our understanding of the world and opens us up to new discoveries. We can make our own magic with iridescent colors that shimmer and shift, reflective and prismatic materials, and trompe l’oeil and other optical illusions. As the English writer Eden Philpotts once wrote, “The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

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