This song has been everything to me for the past few weeks. I had a miniature breakdown not too long ago (don’t worry, it happens a lot) and just in the nick of time, Pandora reminded me of a song I hadn’t heard in well over a year.
“What if our hard work ends in despair? What if the road won’t take me there? Oh, I wish, for once, we could stay gold.
What if to love and be loved is not enough? What if I fall and can’t bear to get up? Oh, I wish, for once, we could stay gold.”
One of my favorite poems in the entire world is “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost. This song, for me, put that poem into light. It closed all the openings. It was the icing on the cake.
When we are children, life has no boundaries. Our imaginations have no limits. Magic isn’t for the foolish.
When I was a child, my entire world was magic. I just knew that one day I would somehow stumble across an unknown superpower. I knew it was going to happen. I could feel it. I knew that if any person in the world would be given abnormal abilities, it would surely be me. (Kids are very self-centered, aren’t they?)
I spent endless hours playing out what would happen in my head. I forced these fake worlds into existence. Within them, I was special. I would always have the answers. I would always save the day. In these worlds, there was no room for evil. No person going unfed, no child being bullied, no abusive men, no broken families- none of it. There was only gold and there was little Ashley Nanas there to hand it out like it were candy.
Inevitably, I grew up and with that I learned that reality wasn’t what I was expecting. I hadn’t planned for this kind of world at all. It’s heart-breaking to lose that spark, but you start to realize that Narnia and Harry Potter were only well-written novels. Nobody has ever met a mermaid or an elf. Nobody has ever come across a dragon, centaur, or unicorn. Pain was very real and there was no potion out there that could stop the effects that it causes.
I lost hope. I became a skeptic.
Religion? Yeah, right. Ghosts? You’ve got to be kidding me. Chakras? Fucking hippie. Your crystals can’t save you. The alignment of the stars doesn’t determine your personality. I became everything that I wanted to save the world from. Pure negativity. So honest it hurt. I was crushing each person’s own imaginary castle down the way that mine had fallen. I lost my magic and I wanted everyone to lose theirs with me. No gold can stay.
My teenage years into early adulthood have been extremely tough for me. I have had more heartache than I ever thought I could bear. Most of which I still don’t deal with. I bury things deep within me, never wanting to face them, but instead holding them until I get used to the weight.
As I begin to experience more of my life and what this world has to offer, I’ve noticed that I haven’t actually lost my magic after all; It has only changed shape. Magic is the sound of laughter among my kin at the dinner table. Magic is the warmth of the sun after a chilly night. Magic is the mosaic artwork on an insect’s tiny, fragile wing. Magic is eating a pineapple fresh off the plant. Magic is earning an animal’s trust. Magic is earning a person’s love. Magic is those photos that I was able to freeze forever before losing the people inside of them. Magic is stepping into a different country. Magic is the brilliance of science and knowledge. Magic is subjective, but it isn’t gone.
Magic is the song and poem combined that remind me that the gold will always return, just as it left.
Magic was my morning today.