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Field of Wishes

“If you blow off all the puffs, your wish will come true. And then the puffs you blow will plant more wishes,” my brother James told me one summer day. I always thought he knew so much, for a seven-year-old. We sat on the edge of the porch, gazing over the vast expanse of dandelions in the back yard. Hundreds of them, like shimmering ivory orbs catching the sun. Our field of wishes.

In the winter, the wishes were gone. It was too cold, James said, they would be back in the spring. Besides, he reasoned, you can’t have wishes all time. I suppose he was right, but I always thought it was strange how they left when we needed them most: when it was cold and dark. But summer would always come again, we just had to be patient.

“Look at all those weeds! Someday you ought to plant a real flower garden, Candace.” Aunt Wendy squawked as she squinted disapprovingly into our backyard. Mother just sighed, it was just harmless criticism, not out of the ordinary for her delightful sister. I however, as an opinionated five-year-old, I did not take it quite as well.

“They are not weeds! They are wishes!” I exclaimed, stamping my little foot indignantly. Who made the laws about what was a weed and what wasn’t, anyway? Aunt Wendy huffed as I was escorted out of the room by flushed mother. Thus began all-knowing Aunt Wendy’s tirade that James and I could hear from the porch about “young children with silly ideas” and “being unhealthily detached from reality”. She left the next day.

The years passed, dragging me with them. I grew older and wiser, surviving many winters without wishes in a paved city life. I came to realize that my field of wishes was, well, merely a field of dandelions. But I could never manage to forget what my mother told me as she tucked me in the night Aunt Wendy came.

“Why did Aunt Wendy hate the field of wishes, Mommy?”

“I don’t think she hated them, I just don’t think she saw them the same way as you do, honey.”

“Why not?”

“Some of us, we make our own beauty. We choose to believe that there is wonder in the most ordinary things. We choose to find joy in the places most overlook. Believing this doesn’t make us naive, it makes us hopeful. And a little hope in this world is a valuable thing.”