Enchantment is an interesting word. The dictionary has two definitions: 1) a feeling of great pleasure; delight: the enchantment of the mountains; and 2) the state of being under a spell; magic: a world of mystery and enchantment.
Which definition do you think of first? For some reason, my mind usually reaches for the second “magic” definition.
Diedra and I have been on an old movies kick lately. One we saw recently had quite a bit of untranslated French dialogue (even in the subtitles). I don’t know French–I studied Spanish in High School. So, I’m hearing French lines, reading French subtitles, and piecing together as much as I can from the acting until they switch back to English. Interesting experience. I noticed that they often say “Enchanté” to say “Nice to meet you.” It’s very warm, perhaps the closest we get in English would be “It’s a pleasure.”
The two definitions overlap, don’t they? Even in English, we refer to some pleasures as being “magical” or giving us a feeling of being “spellbound.”
I happened upon a delightful essay by C.S. Lewis entitled “Talking about Bicycles.” He outlines four phases (ages) of Enchantment by illustrating with one’s relationship to bicycles.
First, the Unenchanted Age–before you can ride a bike it’s just an object.
Second, the Enchanted Age–now you’ve just learned to ride a bike and you’re experiencing a thrill that almost feels like flying.
Third, the Disenchanted Age–now you have to ride your bike to school, perhaps up difficult hills or in bad weather. The magic has worn off.
Fourth, the Re-enchanted Age–you’ve rediscovered the thrill of riding your bike. It’s fun again, a great delight.
The essay goes on to explore these phases in other areas–and to note that the Re-enchanted Age is actually preferable to the Enchanted Age.
So, my question is: In what areas of our life are we presently feeling the most Disenchanted? Family? Friendship? Work? Religion? Love? What would it take to rekindle the magic?
Your flint and steel are Forgiveness and Thanksgiving.