Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Writer's Words - Wishing Upon A Star

Wishing Upon A Star
By Nan Russell

The two block Main Street in the Montana town where I live offers a unique combination of one-of-a-kind shops, local crafts, and potential treasures. So when out of town guests come to visit, shopping is typically part of the agenda.

But on this day, as I browsed the stores with visiting friends, I was preoccupied with other thoughts. Impending deadlines for a new book, gnawing concerns about my elderly mother's pneumonia, growing despair over the inability to sell our house in a declining economy, and angry words spoken earlier at home. These distractions stormed my head and distanced me from my friends' engaged endeavors.

So, when my heart leaped at the sight of an eight-by-eight inch, roughly painted brown frame, with crudely sewn quilted fabrics highlighted with buttons, I was surprisingly yanked from my melancholy. On a nondescript shelf, the framed quilt held a center star on which the words "Wish Upon a Star" were stitched.

Now housed permanently on the wall of my office, the little hand-crafted picture intrigues me. More accurately, it makes me cry. No, not all the time. Don't picture me office-bound with tears streaming down my face as I go about conducting business. It makes me cry when I let it in. That's its magic, I think. The letting in.

It's a reminder of a simpler time when little girls, or at least this one, could eliminate their cares by wishing on stars and believing in happily-ever-after fairy tales; by blowing dandelion puff balls and looking for four leaf clovers; and by pulling the covers over their heads to keep the closet-monsters at bay.

They were the wish-upon-a-star years. But don't get me wrong. In no way am I longing for those years or desiring to return to child-like magic. I continue to find magic in every stage of life.

But now, as Nana to granddaughters ages two and four, I can't help cherishing these feelings, knowing what they will discover. Life is a wondrous journey. Painful sometimes. Difficult sometimes. Joyous sometimes. Magical sometimes. But evoking always.

You see, in the scheme of things, even if happily-ever-after fairy tales and dandelion wishes fill but a tiny portion of their lives, there are loving relationships, northern lights, and untapped wonders that will fill the rest. Yet for that to happen, they'll have to let life in. They'll have to embrace it, wrestle it, dance with it at every stage. And, one thing I'll share with them along the way, "Don't ever stop wishing on a star.”
© 2011 Nan S. Russell.  All Rights Reserved.

Nan Russell left the corporate world in 2002 to pursue a life dream to work and write from the mountains of Montana. Today she is the award winning author of Hitting Your Stride, a syndicated columnist, and motivational speaker. More about Nan and her work at or follow her insights and tips on twitter @nan_Russell

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