A wish is many things. It is apprehension and anticipation. It is lucky coins and dandelion fluff and rainbows stretching to forever. It is loves-me after loves-me-nots and a pile of plucked flower petals at your feet. It’s purple bikes and getting picked first and a passing grade in math. It’s the marvelous and the miraculous. It’s hunger and heartache. A wish is something extraordinary that you never hoped to have.
Or something very ordinary that most people take for granted.
~ John David Anderson, Granted
Wish on everything. Pink cars are good, especially old ones. And stars of course, first stars and shooting stars. Planes will do if they are the first light in the sky and look like stars. Wish in tunnels, holding your breath and lifting your feet off the ground. Birthday candles. Baby teeth.
~ Francesca Lia Block
When I was a child, I used to do something that a lot of children did and, I’m pretty sure, still do. Even as an adult, I occasionally practice this ritual. I pick a dandelion that has gone to seed, make a wish, and blow on the seeds.
I had two thoughts about this when I was younger. Both hinged on the fact that there are so many seeds on a dandelion, and it seemed to me that we ought to be making our wishes accordingly. First, if we only get one wish, then that means each seed that is scattered by my breath and the wind is a chance for the wish to come true. The seed that lands in just the right place will see to the granting of the wish. Many of my seed-wishes apparently didn’t land in the right place (or the wish was granted in such a way that I failed to recognize it was what I asked for).
My second thought was that we should be given more than one wish, perhaps one for each seed if you are willing to sit and count them. That’s a lot of wishes, methinks, and somewhat greedy of me but sometimes children tend to be greedy, especially when it comes to magic and wishes. And cake. After watching my grandson eat his birthday cake, cake should definitely be on the greedy list.
All of this came to mind yesterday as I spent two hours outside walking, sitting, staring at flowers and newly hatched leaves, listening to the birds, and pondering Susannah Conway’s April Love 2018 prompt for today: Secret wish. I thought about it again as I was outside hanging laundry and enjoying the celebration that goes on practically every day in the spring, not just Earth Day. I realized quickly (Captain Obvious here) that I can’t very well share my secret wish with you because, well, it wouldn’t be secret anymore. But there is another reason I’m unable to share it with you.
I don’t know what my secret wish is. I do have wishes, many of which I’d be willing to share. But a secret wish? I can’t come up with anything that I don’t end up attaching qualifiers to, and that leads me to believe I either don’t have a secret wish or I am unable to put it into words. I am leaning towards the latter. It could also be that I was raised on “be careful what you wish for” so it’s difficult to make a wish without thinking it through and wording it with either a lot of precision or vaguely enough that it covers all the bases.
Some of my wishes on this Earth Day include things like a healing of the earth and all of the beings that reside on Mother Earth (including and especially us human beings who really need to get our act together); all the best for my children and grandchildren, that they be compassionate, wise, awake human beings who might help with my first wish and, if not that, that they at least be happy, be healthy, and secure in who they are; and, oh, many other things (some I’d rather not get into since politics are not always a pleasant subject) including world peace (because what group of wishes would be complete without that?).
During our last trip out to Ohio, M and I paid a visit to Lehman’s Hardware which is located in an area settled by the Amish. I love, love, love Lehman’s Hardware and not only get lost in the store (because it meanders), I can get lost in the website. I especially like the way their “About us” starts out with “We are a strong handshake and a helping hand.” Go have a peek at the website. I’ll wait.
What did you think? Interesting place, isn’t it? One of the things the visit to the store brought to my mind is how much we rely on electricity in our daily lives. Because they sell to the Amish, Lehman’s has quite a few products that don’t use electricity. I have seriously had my eye on this Pressure Handwasher.
I just finished reading The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan. It was the April pick for the NY Times-NPR Now Read This book club. It is the story of what has happened and what is currently happening in the Great Lakes (in the U.S.). While in the midst of reading that, NOVA (on PBS, public television here in the U.S.) had a two-hour special on the climate and climate change. To be honest, I finished both with the thought, “We are screwed.” (Ok, that wasn’t honest because the word I used was not “screwed.” It began with an f.) We’ve done this to ourselves and to the planet, sometimes innocently, sometimes not so innocently.
One thing that puzzles me greatly when it comes to all the talk about climate change is the lack of any mention of conserving energy. There is plenty to be found about clean energy. I won’t get into that right now other than to say if you look deeply into wind and solar, you will find there are dark sides to both (as we have experienced here). I am not against clean energy. However, I do think we need to be looking at other possibilities and not stagnating in the area of research and development because we think wind and solar are the answers. Research done by several groups have come to the conclusion that wind and solar will not solve our problems. Although they can be part of a solution, they are a drop in a very big bucket of mess.
So, on this Earth Day, I am thinking about conservation, about what I can do to consume less and give back to the earth more. I am wishing that enough of us will go back to some of the old ways to make some difference. This will not make the rich any richer, and I suspect that’s why we don’t hear a lot about conservation these days.
I’m not ready to go off the grid or anything quite that extreme. But I do know there are areas where I can improve by using fewer resources, buying less junk, wasting less food, figuring out how to reduce the amount of trash that we take to the landfill. M and I do pretty well for the most part. We compost what can be composted, buy quality things when we need to buy stuff, give second and third thoughts to buying out of desire/want rather than need (that’s not to say we don’t buy things we desire, but we do think about it first), buy local when we can, and I have become good at not wasting food. The latest exception was having to throw away a 3-pack of romaine lettuce because the CDC issued a warning about it and suggested we throw it away. That’s my fault for buying it at the grocery store instead of at the local farm market.
Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.
~ Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
That’s probably more than enough from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this beautiful Earth Day. I think we might have an interesting sunset this evening. Join me at the Point. Sunset is scheduled for 7:46 PM. I’ll be there early, as usual, to take a little walk on the beach. It’s warm today, but you might need a light jacket since it will cool off fast once the sun goes below the horizon.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 666) Swishy clouds high up in the sky. 667) Buttercups in bloom. 668) Blueberry pancakes for breakfast. 669) A wonderful walk before lunch. 670) Short-sleeve weather.