Remember the old story about the genie in the bottle, who gives three wishes to the lucky human who lets it go free? If you found that bottle by the side of the road, uncorked it and Poof, out popped the genie to grant your wishes, what would you do? Do you even know of three genuine wishes you would like to ask him for?
Dear Readers, I realize as I write this what a loaded question it actually is. It’s not even a fair question, because I know that it is more or less impossible to name just three (that magic number) things, out of a whole world full of things you would like to be different in this life! So, to make this little game a bit easier to play, let’s put some limits on what we are wishing for. World peace is out, along with no more war and everybody being happy all the time. After all, most everybody (I know, not everyone!) would want those things. Let’s go back to my original idea, that of secret wishes, something you hope for but wouldn’t dare to tell another for fear of…(fill in the blank here.)
I’ll start, since you are after all reading my blog. One thing I would wish for is to be given the power of time travel, but with the added plus of being able to transcend time altogether, so that I could literally be in more than one place at the same time. Not quite sure how that would work, exactly, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to be enjoying time spent with loved ones in one location on the planet, while simultaneously taking a quiet walk in the woods by yourself somewhere else? In a way it would be similar to when you are asleep and dreaming, except that you would be conscious of everything, and would remember it later on (so difficult to do with dreams, I’m afraid).
Another secret wish I have (well, guess it won’t be so secret after tonight) is to be able to fix things, places, and yes, people, who are broken. Now, I know what some of you are thinking, oh no, she is another one of those super-annoying-wanna-help-everybody types, eek, run away quick!– but really, I think it would be so wonderful to be like the character Amelie in that very charming French film, and go around helping blind people to see, and mend broken hearts, heal crippled people and animals, give sad children their smiles and laughter back, make dumps into beautiful gardens, toxic waste sites into clean, healthy living places again, that sort of thing. And easily, just with a thought and intention, not years of back-breaking labor and huge amounts of cash, but more like having a kind of magic wand power….
Then there’s the very vain wish about wanting to never grow old and look old and become decrepit and die…. yeah, guess a few of us might secretly covet that one…. then of course there are all the ‘wish I could’ve been a (fill-in-the-blank again) wishes….. lots and lots of those milling around in the attic of my memory.
Dear Readers, I think I have backed myself into a corner here on this blog tonight. If I share my deepest secret wishes with you, then they won’t be secret anymore. I guess I am not quite feeling ready, ascended enough or whatever else, to go quite that far… yet. So I will move on to something else to muse upon, something altogether different.
Today the weather was as changeable as my mood. Because I live up here at the top of Europe, on a big island, the weather can change very quickly. It was a beautiful, sunny, clear morning here, a perfect, chilly late October day. So I went out walking, at first along the motorway, then turned off onto a country road, enjoying the brilliant sunshine, green fields of winter grass, feeling peaceful and calm. Once I entered the forest, I became even quieter, listening to all the creatures who lived there. The woods are also home to a good-sized pheasant flock, and they appeared now and then, running across the path, calling to each other in their strange, gobbly sort of language. The leaves crunched under my feet, the scent of the forest was delightfully damp and alive, the yellows, browns and oranges of leaves and mushrooms filling my sight with beauty. Eventually I found a lovely spot off the lane in a young grove of beech trees, and rested there, meditated, asking the spiritual world for help and guidance. Before too long, however, the clouds came and covered up the beautiful sun, bringing rain, and then sleet to accompany me on my walk home. At one point I looked down to the side of the road and found a pheasant, a male, dead not more than several hours. I stopped and had a closer look. Pheasants are a new phenomenon in my world, having never lived in an area where they were common before now. The pheasant was quite beautiful, with a red and black head, neck and breast covered with gorgeous shades of cobalt, violet and auburn colored feathers, and of course its famous, long, painted tail feathers. Impulsively, I found a stick and worked to pry loose a few of those precious feathers for later use in some creative project, I reasoned. As I worked to loosen them from the body, I saw some of its raw flesh peeking out from beneath the feathers, and couldn’t help but imagine how wonderful that bird would be plucked and roasted for dinner! Thanking the bird for letting me have them, I packed the feathers in a plastic bag, carefully placed it in my rucksack, and went along home in the wet afternoon.
Death is always among us, even though most of us don’t think about this fact too often. When it shows up, like this afternoon on the side of the road, it never fails to shock. And fascinate– the pheasant was so beautiful in its death mask, all of its feathers lying so prettily upon its dead body. Perennial wisdom says that what we call death is simply a change of form, from one state of being to the next; nothing is ever really lost, it only seems that way in this illusion we call Life. It is a powerful illusion, is it not? When I think of dying, I admit I feel sad, and don’t want to do it. As I stood in the forest, inside a ring of beech trees, I suddenly felt overwhelmed with the beauty surrounding me on all sides, felt such love and gratitude for this earth which gives all who live upon it so immensely much in every moment. I will hate to leave this planet when my number is up, will miss the forest and the rivers, the sky and the wind, the animals, all of the wonders of this place. I can only hope (my not so secret hope) that the next world that we go on to inhabit, somewhere in another realm among the stars, is at least as beautiful and glorious as this one.
- Running Pheasant… (ahradwani.com)