wand computerSeveral years ago, I acquired a magic wand. Small. Unprepossessing. Sparingly decorated with tiny colored beads, a glittery plastic butterfly and a pale mauve bird feather.

The wand was crafted from a twig of an ancient, sprawling oak tree known by local Native Americans as Mother Oak. I’d serendipitously happened upon the mammoth oak behind a fruit stand, far off the beaten path, deep on reservation land.

The woman who sold me the wand told me of its provenance and magical powers. As I handed her the few dollars we’d agreed upon as a price, she placed the wand in my hand as carefully as she would a piece of fine china, advising with an enigmatic smile, “Use it only for good, not evil.”

I keep the magic wand in my office, alongside other talismans, including Maya Angelou’s quote, “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities,” and a hand-crafted card made for me by author Isabel Allende “with the ‘hand of Fatima’ to prevent the evil eye.”

On a recent Friday, my Internet conked out. I could not post for clients on Facebook, email news releases, receive important messages, or send a newsletter proof before a fast-approaching deadline; essentially I could not conduct my business.

Hours ensued. My panic level rose. I called my service provider, but nothing the rep or I did worked. She finally offered to send a technician for $75 per hour. First, she said, let’s try resetting the system elements one more time. I replied, “While we’re doing that, I am going to wave my magic wand.” I’m sure she thought I was joking (or nuts), but while she worked her wizardry, I waved the wand over both my computers as well as my router and modem.

Instantly, my Internet returned to life. What did the trick: tech or talisman? I’ll never know.

I have used my magic wand in the past; sporadically and solely when necessary. And never have I used it for evil. I am one of the luckiest people on the planet, so I’d like to think the magic works.

“Use it only for good” — that’s a worthy mantra for everything in life.