My wife gave me a beautiful purple sweater for Christmas. It’s knit from cashmere. Really nice.

But we have cats, and cats have claws. Claws that snag sweaters. So after wearing my new sweater for just a couple hours, it had two big snags right in the front.

Fortunately, our friend Betty knows about fabrics, and knitting, and how to fix things like this. I showed her my beautiful, ruined sweater, and she said, “Oh, that’s easy to fix. I have a special [insert name for a tool I never heard of before here]. I can have that out in no time.” It was nothing short of miraculous to me.

Last year, Betty was having trouble with her computer. She couldn’t send documents to her printer. She had no idea what was going on with it, but thought I might be able to help. “Oh, yes,” I’d said. “That’s easy to fix.” Sure enough, it was, but it was nothing short of miraculous to her.

I know about computers. She knows about fabrics. Each of us is in some way is magical to the other, but neither is a mystery. Not really. In both cases it’s a lot of hours spent getting to know a field of knowledge deeply and loving what we do.

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson did the same thing with basketball a few years ago. My grandfather used to do magic with a welding torch. I’ve known other people who knew how to do magic in vegetable gardens. Others work magic every day as 4th grade teachers. Another friend of ours works magic with plumbing.

The horse whisperers and dog whisperers of the world aren’t magic people. They’ve just spent so many hours with horses and dogs, that it seems that way to us.

People who can do these things are everywhere. They take something ordinary and turn it into art. And, you can tell the difference right away between someone who really knows, and someone who’s just making a buck or getting by. Without the combination of depth of knowledge and love of the field, it’s not magical.

So, what’s your magic?