Monday, October 23, 2017

50 for 50 day 47: Wishes

This is post 47 of 50 celebrating my 50th birthday.

I used to be a big fan of wishing. I've read the stories and know the risks; wishes are fickle things and not to be trusted, but I wished anyway. I wished on birthday candles, on the first star of the evening, on eyelashes and ladybugs and shooting stars and and and... This time of the year, four years ago, I was frantically wishing on anything I could think of, wishing that we would find out why Kevin was getting sicker and please make him well.

I don't tend to make wishes anymore. Not that way, anyway. And honestly, I feel so much more aware of the dark side of wishing that I just don't know if I could phrase that which I most yearn for in such way that it could not be corrupted. After all, I kept wishing for Kevin to be okay and, by some theologies, he now is.

All that being said, birthday wishes are special. There is something so intimate and knowing about making a wish on the day that celebrates your arrival into the world. I had a late lunch today and the waitress gave me ice cream with a candle in it at the end of the meal. "Make a wish!" She said with a big smile. By instinct, I did. I made a small wish and blew out the candle, then froze, feeling that traumatized fear that my wish would go awry.

I don't really think it will, of course, but still... it was an uncomfortable and surprising moment, both in the wishing and in the reaction.

My birthday is at the end of this week. If I were to make a wish, at this time in my life with my history of wishes as a folklorist, a storyteller, a widow, it might be something like this:

May I inspire kindness in all those I meet. May we all treat each other as we wish to be treated when we are at our best. May we receive blessings from all we meet and may we bestow equal blessings.

Maybe this isn't a wish so much as a creed I can consider carrying as I move forward through the rest of my life. Maybe that's what the best wishes are, after all, a roadmap that gives us a guide and agency to the best, kindest life.
(c)2017 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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