close up of seed pod of the dandelion plant

‘Be careful what you wish for’

In Insight and Experience by LivingNowLeave a Comment

I

She lies in a hospital bed, in limbo. Not the lively, strut-under-the-pole, shake-em-baby-they-won’t-break limbo, but the other kind. Where you lurk between two worlds.

In the first world her body is badly damaged and she lies in traction. Alive but unmoving. Trapped, scared. Death tugs at her. She probably won’t walk again, will never have children and if she survives the huge life-saving surgery which is imminent, has the prospect of months of chemotherapy to look forward to. Not to mention the part where she tries to make her legs work.

The second world she visits emanates a rapture and dazzling beauty. Words are laughably inadequate to describe the boundless, all-consuming love and richness of pure ecstasy that is hers – in moments – to hold onto with two hands and one heart.

And then – in that unpredictable way that life has of making people know in their loins that there’s more out there than just Gilligan’s Island on dvd and mildly interesting new episodes of The Bill – she has the epiphany that has been waiting inside her ever since her nickname was Chickabideeshortshanks. Yes. Somehow, in a blinding moment of clarity and all-consuming love, she knows that she will survive this physical and emotional ordeal; that she’ll walk; and have kids, even though they’ve been way down her priority list until now; and live every moment of the rest of her goddam life.

Some think she’s a bit mental. She wonders at times, too.

And yet. She feels the pull of a treed living space, big big skies, the energy of children (which is not bad from the I-won’t-change-nappies-ever queen). And there’s a boy she loves and misses even though they haven’t met. She makes a heartfelt wish.

II

He’s a mediterranean king. Young-ish. Not a blue blood in the genuine sense of the term – he’s prone to emitting the odd lingering vapour with his ablutions just like the rest of us – but kingly in that his power to manifest all his worldly needs causes him to live like one. Years of hanging about with robed and wise people of various religious persuasions have rubbed off. He is drawn to the purposeful seeking of a rich, inner spiritual life. And he wants for nothing. Well – almost nothing.

He lives in the pleasant rabble of an inner city house with a couple of vibrant female housemates. It is a share house which means there’s a week’s worth of dishes in the sink and hectic horizontals. A favourite pair of sunglasses can go missing for months at a time and if you lose a sock, give it up right then and there. It’s that sort of house. With spiders.

Happily, on top of the piano there’s a little respite from the interior chaos. It’s partly hidden from view and lies on its side, yet it shines out to him like a beacon in the night. It’s a photo – of his house pals and some of their university mates – six in all. This photo has been stuck onto a glittered background and smacks of shiny young women making their respective ways into the big wide world. They are all smiling. There is hair of every shape and size, along with a vibe, an anticipation.

He is drawn to one of them every time he looks. He wonders – is careful not to stare at the photo too long in case the grass starts to grow between his toes – or someone sees him.

All his life he’s had a bit of a spooky intuitive streak. There are some traits from his strong, superstitious first-generation-in-Australia mother that stand up to scrutiny – stuff like listening to the little voice inside his head.

He knows there’s something about this girl. Just from looking. He makes a heartfelt wish.

III

Time passes and life goes on. Each of them lives in their separate worlds – and each has a little niggle inside that just won’t go away. He moves out of the share house, starts a course that he’s always fancied; takes himself off to the beach to live.

Her months of chemotherapy and new perspective on life stand her in good stead. Her body begins to heal. She takes tentative steps, first with lots of people hovering, holding her up, and then pushing her own wheelchair. Then with two walking sticks. Then one. Then none. Doo dee doo.

They are being drawn to each other. So of course they meet. They have to.

It happens in a lounge room at a party. It’s the house he used to live in. There is recognition instantly across the crowded room (I know – sounds like a dodgy 70’s love story and quite possibly I’ve never been to me was playing at the time). She looks up from the child she’s chatting with, to lock eyes for just an instant with a person she’s known forever but has not met until now. His look, his stance, his energy are all familiar. For him, it’s a natural evolution of daydreams and wishes. He is a king, remember. He makes wishes and the world manifests around him.

They are connected through shared unconscious memory. Lifetimes. They know. They remember. Even though they’ve just met, they share their wine naturally – as though it’s a given – and jabber away as though they’re old friends.

Which they are.

IV

They fall in love. They create a baby. A miracle, say the experts. Oh my God she says. He smiles. Before the birth they make a list of what each desires in a house. Surprisingly (as they haven’t really known each other for long in linear time) they are in agreement about what they want. Together they make a heartfelt wish. In three days they have their sanctuary by the river, in the treed space of their combined daydreams.

And so they embark on a new life. They begin with little but each other. As is the way of the world and human beings, they do not always live in magnificent intuitive bliss. Not even in their best and highest selves. Although they are aware of the power of thoughts and heartfelt wishes, they live in a happy, shambolic state of imperfection. They argue, they swear, use the remote control as a weapon and hog the teddy bear biscuits. And they love, they laugh, they manifest incredible wonders.

Stories without words often pass between them.

Another heartfelt wish is heard. Three become four become five. Oh my God she says. He smiles. Their faces have more lines now. Smiles feel deeper. The river of life continues its meandering course. Each of them becomes a little more conscious in every day, of the immense power that they have, individually and together. They fully utilise the notion of Oprah’s (or is it Dr Phil’s?) attitude of gratitude. [or even Brian Tracy – Ed]

They live on the smell of an oily rag. Reality and logic would say that they need to curb some of their dreams, budget more consistently and live within their means. Which they do to a point. And yet, when she finds herself sitting in a broken down car by the roadside with three young children, her first impulse is to make an impassioned heartfelt wish. Oh, and call him and then the mechanic. Trust in God and tether your camel.

The roadside assistance people get the car going again and they hobble home. Dinner, baths, stories, the small rituals of life with children take over for the evening. They fall into sleep and next morning, there is a phone call. A car is offered. Not for money? They’d really prefer one of her paintings instead.

Decisions and discoveries are made – the gift horse that is the manifested car needs some mechanical work. It’s going to cost more than they have. The mechanic hears their story during the course of their conversations and, happily, he’d like a painting too.

And their lives are busy and full and happy and sad and good and bad. Sometimes they remember to take time out and give thanks for a quiet, shining truth. Most often this happens in the mornings, in that fuzzy space between wake and sleep. Sometimes they remember the importance of listening to the quiet truth inside their hearts – but sometimes, too, they forget.

Kids grow. It’s their job. Soon the little rental house bulges at the seams and they realise that they need more space. No worries – he will build a house. Just like that, another heartfelt wish is made and sent off to reverberate in the ether. They purchase land, arrange their finances and set to. Friends and family flit in and out with assistance and goodwill. He has trade skills for the job of building and enlists the help of others when needed.

The house is built with his blood, sweat and tears. It’s a sanctuary. A haven. He’s tempted to keep it for as long as possible as his own quiet spot (six years in the making and it’s hard to surrender your serenity; that film The Castle has a lot to answer for) but he relents, and the growing, bustling family moves in.

The house sits on top of a hill where the view is expansive and heartwarming and vast and eternal. The skies are big and magic. The trees hold timeless wisdom and welcome. They are home for now.

They give thanks often.

It begins with longing. A little ache somewhere deep inside that heralds the arrival of a quiet, shining truth.

Be still and listen to this tiny voice inside. Don’t drown it out or crowd it. Let it be. Listen. It is the whisper that tingles your spine. It’s the gentle, insistent knocking at the door of your heart.

Be still and listen to this longing, this yearning. Yearning brings about dreaming. Dreaming brings about wishing. Wishing floods your heart. As you imagine, so it is.

Heartfelt wishes come true. They have to.

Liz Vercoe lives in the Bend of Islands, Melbourne with her young family.  She has written a few books  and twice a year opens her art studio to the public.

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