May 192011

One Tree Hill logoThe season 8 finale of the CW TV show One Tree Hill featured a lengthy quote from Robert McCammon’s Boy’s Life.  The episode, entitled “This Is My House, This Is My Home,” was written and directed by Mark Schwahn, who is a long-time fan of McCammon’s work.  Here’s the scene as described by a fan on Facebook:

…the little boy Jamie was narrating a passage about living in a magic time and town etc and they pan up and show him reading “Boy’s Life”.

One Tree Hill screenshot

One Tree Hill character reading Boy's Life

Here’s the passage quoted:

You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.

After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm.

That’s what I believe.

The episode should be viewable soon from


  4 Responses to “Boy’s Life quoted on One Tree Hill

  1. Beautiful and powerful words. Words we should remember everyday, especially those of us with children.

    I wonder if Mark Schwann is also a fan of the Scottish rock band “We Were Promised Jetpacks.” They have a song titled This is My House, This is My Home on their first album.


    p.s. Hope your coming back to Surrey this year!

  2. All I can say…Wow.

    What powerful and inspirational words! This quote and episode of OTH was remarkable. I couldn’t help but to look up this quote on google and read it once more. I loved it.

    Well done Mark.
    You’ve done it yet again


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