I don’t know what excited more – enjoying the special treat, or the anticipation of unwrapping the lollipop and searching for the Indian and the star on that character-clad piece of waxy paper. If you were lucky enough to find the Indian shooting up at the star, you should rub the star on the wrapper while making a wish, because it just might come true (well, at least that’s what I was once told and subsequently believed).
I wished for many, many things over the years. I wished that the mean girls in middle school would start to be nice to me (or at the very least, forget that I existed). I wished for a new outfit that I had been wanting for a very long time, but we could never afford. Then, there was that boy….
As I got older, my wishes became bigger and much more important. My more mature, 8-year-old requests would then include wishes that my mom would get better, doctors would find a cure, and that we would somehow come across money so that all of our financial burdens would go away and my mom and stepdad didn’t have to worry so much. I wished that we would make it to the next gas station before running out of gas. I wished for the safe return of my lost dog.
These big wishes would have me rubbing the star on that lollipop wrapper for so long, and so hard, that my thumb and pointer finger would become waxy from the coating that transferred from the paper to my digits. Soon, the color on the wrapper would also come off, leaving behind a thin, worn out area where the once visible star became nearly indistinguishable.
I knew that lollipop wrapper didn’t hold any special power. There was nothing magical about that star or the Indian trying to shoot it with his arrow, but somehow, believing in the possibility and the “what if”, kept me rubbing the many colors of those mass-produced pieces of paper. What I discovered in the process though, is that the power of HOPE is what’s magical.
To have hope, you have strength. To have hope, you have a future. You have more time, you have more chances……you still believe. Hope gives us a reason to keep going, trying, wishing, praying. Hope is contagious, and it has the power to cure fear. To make a wish, you are acknowledging that an opportunity exists to see your wish become a reality. THIS is where the real power comes in. To want something so badly that you can almost see it, taste it, or feel it, is beyond powerful. It motivates us, encourages us, comforts us when fear tries to seep in.
Somewhere along the way, we seem to lose the basic feel-good practice of making a wish. Of course, there’s power of prayer, meditation, etc., (and those have all been part of my lifelong rituals as well) but the elementary (some might even say “childish” idea of making a wish), becomes a secondary, or less important act. To those who don’t believe, or those who see the glass as half empty rather than half full, the idea of making a wish is as stark of a contrast and possibility as fantasy and reality. Yet, when we wish for something – even if it’s by way of some silly superstition like throwing a penny in a wishing well, finding one on the ground, getting the largest piece of a snapped wishbone, or even, yes….rubbing a star on the wrapper of a lollipop, we find hope and feed our minds, bodies, and spirits positive thoughts instead of negative ones. By wishing for something, we have a goal to work towards, a vision to fulfill, and a dream yet to discover.
To this day, I still can’t help but rub the star on these candy wrappers. I know that it isn’t going to improve my odds of my wish coming true, but I CHOOSE to continue my lifelong practice of wishing, praying, and believing in possibilities. Today, when I rub this wrapper, I still make my wish and make my plea, but I do so and LOOK UP even more. It is MY wish, and by making it, I am choosing to chase, work for, and never give up hope that my wish, dream, and prayer will be heard and may just come true.
So, go on….make a wish, and make it a good one. Making wishes shouldn’t be an exercise we practice only on birthdays, but EVERY day.