Tuesday, January 14, 2014

happy wishing

When I was a little girl my dad built me a tree house in the greenbelt of my Grandparents’ backyard (they lived 20 miles outside of Payson in a little neighborhood, in the woods, called Deer Creek). There was a path, which I made of large stones stacked side-by-side in two rows large enough for me to easily walk between, leading from the end of their backyard to the base of my massive tree. It was my tree, you see, because back then I just kind of said so. On either side of this path there were plenty of cacti and other plant life growing wild. A section of this path led into a make-shift “Zen Garden” of rocks that made a swirl pattern towards the center. That took me a while.

My tree house had three levels made of old crates; first level, living room; second level, kitchen; third level, room with a view… of course. I would invite my imaginary guests to take their shoes off (I never did, I’m not an idiot) once they climbed the four or five pieces of plywood nailed to the trunk – or, the entrance way, I’d like to call it – and we would sit for a moment while I would catch random bugs from the corner of my eye and pretend my skin didn’t just crawl. Typically, I wasn’t much of an imaginary friend participant, so I often, being the only child, spent my time alone in my tree.

My grandparents’ house was far enough away so I could feel a sense of freedom, but within a comfortable eye-shot so I wasn’t scared. Which I blame on my Grampi and all of the ghost stories he has told me, and will have continued to tell me, over the years. I may not have cared for imaginary friends, my imagination was more of a lone spirit, but I always had a whirl wind of bizarre things and situations going on up there under that blonde head. The only thing that has changed about that today is my hair is brown and my head only got bigger.

Anyway, this tree - my tree - is where I would make wishes, plan my adventures, or think about what I would probably rather be doing at the moment. I remember for a while there, I had deeply and truly wished for a mountain lion friend. I literally have no idea why I wanted a mountain lion so badly, but, then again, there was really no rhyme or reason to my thoughts. No one ever knew about my far-fetched wish and, obviously, the lion never came… or at least not when I was expecting.

I found out from my Grami, only a couple years ago, 20 years after my tree house days were over, that there was a mountain lion found wandering in the greenbelt just beyond their yard very shortly after I had gone home to my mom's for the new school year. I don't know why my grami brought it up all that time later, maybe we were talking about that old house, but it had me thinking - perhaps the lion was searching for something.

I guess the point of this tiny glimpse into what this “city” girl did while she was a “country” girl visiting her dad, is that wishes – big or small – do to tend to find you. It may take years for us to figure it out, like my silly mountain lion wish; and, whether it was a coincidence or not, it has left me with a bit of wonder and a hope that maybe we really are being heard, and it’s just us that are the ones not listening.

Everyone has wished upon a falling star, blew the pods off of a dandelion into the breeze, tossed a coin into the fountain, held their breath under the tunnel, squeezed their eyes shut at 11:11, or even picked off every petal of a flower hoping the last petal will be “he loves me.” No matter what your beliefs are, there is no religion for hope and the power of making a wish.

Make a wish and then continue going on with your life. 
But this time, live with your eyes open.

happy wishing.

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