Monday, February 06, 2012

Wishes Won't Wash Dishes

How I wished the Patriots would've won the Super Bowl last night, but I'll be a good loser, fork over my last $20 bill to my betting buddy and go apply for welfare!!!!!!

Wishes are a big part of our days, aren't they?  It seems we don't talk about our wishes very much.  We keep our little whispers of want tucked inside us, yet we have a pocketful of wishing rituals that we use to make them come true.

On each birthday, another candle is added to our birthday cake.  After Happy Birthday is sung to us, the dramatic moment arrives when we're told to close our eyes and make a secret wish before blowing out the candles. If we can blow out all the candles in one breath, our wish will come true. It's that simple.  There are differing theories where this custom came from, but with respect to my hubby, I'll say that the Germans did it first.  They felt that the candles symbolized the "light of life."

Another wishing ritual is the breaking of a chicken's wishbone.  Actually, the wishbone from a duck or goose works better cuz they're bigger and one can get a better grip.  As kids, we dried the V-shaped bones on the kitchen window sill for a couple of days, and then my brother and I would each hold one side of the bone and pull.  When the bone broke in two, the one holding the larger piece would win the wish.  Some say that this tradition comes from the ancient Italians.  When they wanted special knowledge from their gods, they would lay the wish bone out in the sun and use it as their messenger.

Who among us hasn't crossed our fingers wishing for something to happen or begging for something not to happen.  I used to do this in school during a test.  I'd cross two fingers on my left hand, cross my ankles under my desk, and write with my right hand. This wishing ritual was originally done with two people crossing their index fingers to form an X, another form of the sign of the cross.  One of them made a wish and the other supported the wish.  This is how the one-person crossing of fingers started out.

Seeing a star fall from the sky is another wishing hopeful.  It happens rarely and it happens quickly.  Some say we don't have to wait for a falling star, but can choose any star, keep looking at it while making a wish on that star, not tell anyone our wish, and chances are pretty good that our wish will come true.  Is it possible the stars can influence some kind of supernatural intervention into our human affairs?  Since ancient times, humans are fascinated by, and pay reverence to, the heavens.  Thus, the wishing on a star is another way for us to say a prayer.

Finding a penny on the ground is one of my favorite signs that a wish will come true.  The spot where the penny is found is said to mark the place an angel has just been.  Others believe that the penny has "In God We Trust" printed on it, and that finding one is God's message that He is here with us, in control, and we have no need to worry, but trust that He will take care of us.