We couldn’t believe our good fortune when we arrived at our hiking destination to almost sunny skies without the threat of rain. I prepared everyone before our trip to Ireland “Plan on rain. Everyday, all day. You will get wet.” I like to set the lowest possible expectations for my kids when we travel, this way when something goes right they are pleasantly surprised. If it doesn’t, I remind them of my forewarning and compensate for it with an ice cream. Usually, I begin with “It will be boring and historical. You might learn something.” This saves a lot of time and aggravation as they do all the moaning up front, and find later that they enjoyed themselves after all.
On this particular day, the weather being decidedly un-Irish, we chose to take a long hike around The Great Lake. On crossing a small footbridge, I looked down at the pool of water below and it winked back up at me. Coins lined the muddy bed where travelers paused to toss a wish before crossing to the other side. My youngest stared hard and announced the water held nuggets of gold. I snapped a quick photo before freeing my hands to grab her if she decided to plunge in and grab a piece.
Later, I thought about all those golden wishes sinking to the bottom of a small Irish creek, and I wondered who they belong to–what story would they tell? What did they wish for and would it come true? If only wishes came true simply by thinking them into existence, by tossing a small coin into a creek bed of dreams. In my experience, most wishes arrive on the tail end of a lot of hard work and discipline.
I find this infinitely less appealing.
I’m knee-deep in the hard work and discipline phase of dreaming at the moment. It started out as a shiny, gold wish that shimmered in the sunlight, but now it’s mired down in the muck of the everyday, giving me the occasional wink from below. A lot of people toss the coin and cross the bridge and wonder when their luck will change. It won’t. Only you can change, and it might be a little boring, a little old-school, and you may end up learning something along the way.
If not, you can always console yourself with ice cream.
What are you wishing for today? Are you still standing on the bridge tossing coins or are you getting down to the nitty-gritty work of it all? Or are you bored with this whole wish business and think a pint of Ben and Jerry’s sounds good right about now?