In a far off place, there once was a little girl who was very good at wanting to always do the right thing. She lived in the Borough of Kings with her three sisters, one brother and her parents. Although not spoken, there was a quiet understanding in the castle that it was very important to “be good”. She thought to be loved – especially by God – that she had to be good, and therefore, she tried very hard to never rock the boat. She would do extra chores around the castle to gain the attention and affection of her parents. This seemed to work well. She would go out of her way to be seen doing the right thing and then revel in the praise and being loved by all! Being good meant not answering back, doing as she was told and never speaking her mind or asking for what she wanted. Until one day . . .
The little girl attended a private school in the Kingdom where all the little boys and girls also knew the virtues and gifts of being good. This one particular spring, there was to be a great celebration…a carnival bazaar with all sorts of games of chance and prizes. The day prior to the carnival was to begin, the school’s head master took the children to preview the delight that was about to unfold.
The little girl was in awe as they all began to walk up and down the aisles that had a poised animation about them.
Peering up and craning her neck to see above the tall counter tops she was suddenly aware of her slight stature. The children were to remain quiet which only accentuated the stillness of the silenced signs, lights and attractions. This became a contradiction of the colorful fixtures and backdrops. Every step she took was plodding and deliberate as wonder filled her senses. There was so much to take in as she tried to keep up the pace with her class. As she swiftly took note of the different prizes and the allotment that would be needed to play the games, a sense of overwhelm swept past her feet.
And then she saw it. The prize she wanted to win. The prize she knew she would win. Standing tall above the rest in the menagerie of stuffed animals was a giraffe. Suddenly the little girl became still as she matched the energy and gaze of this giraffe. Her classmates tried to get her attention as they carried on with the tour, but she continued to be drawn in by this inanimate majesty. He was calm and self-assured and filled with grace. The little girl knew she should follow along, but her Maryjane shoes had become rooted to the floor like an old oak in a forest. She was curious about the giraffe, but she liked the sense of adventure and excitement she felt inside when she would look at him. She felt joy. It was in that moment that her heart decided and intended that this giraffe would be hers.
Upon arriving home at the Castle that afternoon, she bolted up the cascading staircase that seemed to go on forever this particular day. Out of breath, but fueled by her excitement, she began to tell her mother about her great discovery. There were not enough words in her 7-year-old vocabulary to describe what the giraffe was like or what it meant to her. But indeed she tried and in record time! She asked for a pittance to play the game for when she would return to the carnival tomorrow. When she felt complete, she allowed herself to take a breath! And then, as if whiplashed, she became sharply aware of the contrast of her own animation and her mother’s impervious demeanor. Deciding to curtail her emotions, she was now intent on deciphering the expression on her mother’s face. It was somewhat distracted and yet concerned. The little girl’s mother explained that she would have to play a game of chance if she wanted the giraffe. And because there was no way to predict the outcome, she didn’t want her daughter to be disappointed.
What? Not win? It hadn’t even occurred to her. In fact, at the mere suggestion, the little girl got angry. Her mind was spinning with questions; why is she telling me this? Doesn’t she know that he is meant for me? Doesn’t she know I will win?
It felt like the knot on the end of her balloon was suddenly undone and as the air escaped so did her joy. The fire she felt just minutes before was now a mere smolder. Her mother ended by saying, “go and have a good time; just don’t set your hopes too high.”
The seeds of doubt had been planted. Her magic, it seemed, had been diminished.
As she sat alone, she got lost in imagination. In her grand adventure, she reunited with her new friend the giraffe. She imagined playing and riding the giraffe for fun. She thought about tea parties they would share and began to smile again. She found that inner space of knowing where she continued to believe despite the warning she had been given. In her world, anything was possible!
The next day, with a stipend in her pocket, she left the Castle and marched off in great anticipation of the carnival. As if waiting to see a great friend, her little legs were running double time as she bounded toward the counter. Yes! He was still there just waiting for her arrival!
The game was a spinning wheel and she would place her coin on the numbered space that she willed the wheel to stop on. She felt like she had played the game forever….and nothing. The conversation she had with her mother the day before began to seep into her consciousness. And so did thoughts of perhaps her mother was right after all. But she didn’t want to believe that. Her thoughts returned to the adventures she concocted and she could once again feel the sensations of positive possibility. She hadn’t played any other games because she knew exactly what prize she was going to win and where he was waiting. And then….one more spin of the wheel! The wheel stopped exactly on the number she had chosen this! There was a rush of accomplishment and euphoria! She did it….she had won her amazing prize. Her giraffe!
Her classmates and the school head master were equally surprised at her tenacity and determination. The 3:00 p.m. bell rang and she now had to figure out how she was going to take her new friend home to the Castle – he was at least twice her size! A good friend helped her carry him. As she arrived at the Castle and called out to her mother from the bottom of the staircase, she relished the astonished look on her mother’s face when she arrived. She told her mother that she was so happy and said “see, I told you I would win it!” She called it her magic!
That little girl was me and I still believe in magic! I didn’t live in a castle but a walk-up apartment in Brooklyn, New York. To this day I’m not really sure if the person running the game that day at the carnival “helped” me win or if I truly won “on my own.” But that’s really not important. Whatever the case, the powers of magic, intention, positivity and intuition were well in play!
As all children do, accessing magic is easy. But then somehow through life experiences and societal conditioning that magic becomes to reach. Like many adults, what was once a natural instinct became something I had to re-learn. But the fact is the magic inside never leaves us and never fades or dulls. It’s up to you to remember the times magic was easy and reach for it again!
Paula G. Rosario
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