When my son was little he used to get up in the morning and say :
I wish for a good day.
He used to kneel by his bed, his teddy bear, Chester, next to him, forming his chubby little hands into a prayer, his face all earnest and hopeful.
I thought it was cute but I always wondered where he got it from because I wasn’t one for kneeling down and praying or even for inviting in the goodness of the day.
Now I know that’s what he was doing.
Somehow he had figured out that by wishing for a good day he was opening himself up to the possibilities the day could bring.
So what constitutes a good day?
Nothing going wrong?
Everyone you meet being nice to you?
Getting everything on your TO DO list done?
The answer lies with my son back when he was still wishing that the day brought him good things.
I used to ask him: What makes a good day?
His answers were often typical of kids his age –
Being able to watch TV until noon in my pajamas.
A new batch of playdough.
Having sausages for dinner.
But occasionally a few gems would creep in –
A bird looking at me through the window.
Seeing a cloud shaped like a heart.
Making a crying baby laugh.
The good things occasionally seemed like poetry. Almost as if the good things – unnamed and somewhat mysterious – were wishes themselves. Wishes come true.
Here are some things that make a good day that could be like someone’s wishes that are about to come true…..
Seeing the bell on the local church for the first time, stolid and reassuring like an echo from the Middle Ages.
The ice cream van with its familiar strain of Greensleeves and lurching clutch. Seeing kids still be kids and run after it clutching two dollar coins; hoping for choc tops and a soft serve vanilla with sprinkles.
And then walking along, thinking: No one believes in magic anymore. People are all so caught up in electronic gadgetry that they don’t imagine things, don’t tap into stories and dreams.
And then I see this guy looking out at me from the park wall. Throwing the enduring power of words out into the world.
Making me think that what he said –
“You have a habit of turning up in unexpected places, Potter, and you are very rarely there for no good reason.”
also applies to him.
The power of storytelling, turning up in unexpected places like someone’s wish come true.
We just have to see them.
Sometimes the wish is all about noticing what is already there.