If it wasn’t for having a dog, there is no way I’d be going for a walk on one of the coldest days in January…and on a day so cold that you would think Winston would walk quickly around the block. Instead, he was stopping and sniffing as per usual as if it were a lovely spring afternoon. To him, it was a casual stroll – for me, a lesson in patience. Tucked in my jacket like a turtle in its shell, I prayed that he’d hurry up. It was feeling like a dreadful responsibility and not a “mental health walk.”
During our final leg of the walk I had visions of warmth: my heated home, being wrapped in a blanket with hot coffee. With only a short distance until we would reach home, Winston needed to ‘stop and sniff’ yet again. As I am standing there impatiently waiting, I decide to look up (instead of focusing on Winston sniffing below). On the bare January tree in front of me I notice a ‘wish star’ gripping its feather-like arms to a thin branch. I’m intrigued, and the dull frigid January air seems to warm. Green is the colour of the season. I am young and wearing a spring dress with pink, purple and yellow blooms. I am in an open field with my childhood friends. We are running with anticipation because adventure awaits.
…and adventure meets me. I am the fortunate one. I’ve spotted a ‘wish star’ floating in the distance above the cloves and grass of the open field. I run fast wanting to claim its magic before it drifts away. I run, jump and extend my arms to reach for it. It tumbles and blows away. I stand still waiting and watching until it floats closer to the ground. Once it hovers just above the blades of grass I carefully approach the ‘wish star’ – gently pinching the feathery wings. I transfer it into the palm of my other hand as one would pass Fine China. I cup my hand, hoping to prevent the wind from whisking away my wish. I smile with pride. “It’s mine! It’s beautiful!” I know that nothing that comes from the Earth can truly be claimed as my own, but for a moment I’ve claimed its beauty and its magic. I admire its wispy white strands with expectancy, knowing that now I must activate its magic. “What will I wish for?” I think hard and want to make it a good one.
Today, a ‘wish star’ came to me. I wasn’t like a carefree child anticipating outdoor adventures and magic. I was cold and impatiently waiting for my little dog to hurry up so we could get home from our walk…but to my surprise, a ‘wish star’ gripping a thin branch caught my attention, getting me out of my head to embody the here and now (even if the here and now was freezing cold). Captivated by a ‘wish star’ blowing in the cold January wind, I was reminded that hope comes to you, it holds on, and it lets go at just the right time, to become something beautiful and new.