We retrace our steps sometimes, and the remembered magic isn’t where we left it. You speculate— what makes a special moment so unique? What endows a place with its aura? And if you returned to that restaurant on a drizzily April night one year later, would the same stardust glisten in the streetlights? Would you find an echoed opalescence brimming in the puddles?

I’ve returned to places before, seeking the retained magic— and while the whispers of what was idled in the corners— the flash of memory felt more like a shadow than lightning.

I drove a similar path one Saturday to the one I had driven the Saturday before. The destination was the same, but the car was different. And we missed a turn. And the sun was sparkling.

In the end, nothing was the same.

Each path proffered its own magic.

© 2023 Katie Baker

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