Some men are born with enchantment dripping from their fingers. They live charmed lives with gold springing from everything they touch. I have come late into such magic, but now it flows freely from my hands. I was not born with the enchantment. I’m one of the lucky ones that has been converted into one of the few.

I was not born with natural charm. People flow by me like a tide I cannot keep up with. I know enough of the language of the crowds to know that I do not speak it fluently. I was always my own bizarre subculture. Even now, I can slip into conversation with someone new and seem to be doing quite well, but inwardly, I’m flailing and wondering if I can keep on treading water. I wonder, when I walk away, “What do they think of me now? Am I the weirdest person they’ve ever met, non-homeless person division?”

I was not born with natural good looks. My family is not one that passes along genetics that allows you to lounge around and relax into a perfectly fit body. Any gains made in the direction of ideal sizes (which never comes to our giant, thick legs), comes at the cost of sweat and starvation. I loved sports but bad luck, terrible joints, and cowardice made me quit when I should have kept going. My mind sped other places with books so I left my body behind to grow lumpy and round and altogether disappointing. No one saw my face and found it impressive because no one saw my face. I was invisible.

I was born with smarts but not quite exceptional-enough smarts. I excelled at school but found that there were always a few that had a different kind and quality of ability than me. The further I went, the more clearly I realized that I was smarter than many, but not quite smart enough to be truly special. An interesting ordinary person would be my lot.

I’m telling you, I was not born among the enchanted.

But now I’m among their number.

What happened?

As with all good stories, I was rescued by an unexpected plot change. I was plodding my ordinary road and aiming for things I thought I wanted and heading towards something that was probably not too bad but not too great. I was me, being me, which was fairly unexceptional. I felt lost in the woods and felt unseen enemies circling around me. Any perilous journey has these moments when the reader can feel the suspension building but the participant seems unaware. I am convinced that I was just such a man. It is in these moments that stories need Magic. They need a Reveal. They need a Hero.

I was an ordinary boy, overmatched by superior friends. But one of them I underestimated. In classic, missing the obvious fashion, I could not tell that one of my companions was a the shrouded hero that I needed. And when I needed a hero most, my hero unmasked themselves and revealed themselves in glory.

She swept back the appearance of humility and stood tall in unabashed enchantment and strength.

My wife changed my story.

Like every great hero or heroine, she changed the plot. She pivoted the story. She transformed my own ordinary story into something that oozes mysterious magic.

My wife, my heroine, is not perfect. A perfect heroine is boring and undesirable for fairy stories. But she, my fairy-wife, has magic that supersedes her flaws and foibles. I fell under her spell and now live under the shadow of her magic. She can slay some of my enemies for me or press the sword into my hand and send me to do what I thought I could not. She can make worlds transform from grey and dreary to green and verdant and magical. Now, everything I touch seems golden. I could not transform simple meals and humble homes into places where people rest and heal. I could not pass along transforming love with a smile and a touch. I could not imagine alternatives for people and places that outstrip the reality that presents itself to us mere mortals.

My wife can do all of these things. She is magic.

She has given me children that are mostly reflections of her gentle glory. I have never smiled so wide as my children smile. I have never laughed as purely as my children do. I could not redirect the energy of tiny children back towards the worlds they create in their minds and unleash them to keep doing, creating more. I could not find the keys that unlock their laughter and personalities so that they feel honored for who they are as people. I could not turn moments of exasperation into opportunities for conversation and self-discovery.

My fairy-wife can do this. She is magic.

Lest you think that fairies are tiny and weak people, be assured that this one is not small and helpless. She is powerful and strong and brave. She has stared down death and brushed it aside. She has spotted thieves that rush in and crushed them. She has seen the opportunity for my mediocre reverse-magic to steal in and she has shouted us onward to what’s higher and better.

My wife does this because she is magic.

I was not born into such magic. I was not an enchanted one. I was not the best or the fastest or the elite. I was grey and quiet and unremarkable. But my companion unveiled herself and changed my story and charged it with something wild and new and lively.

Erin changed my life.

I am now an Enchanted One.