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Wisdom Around Us

My Stories

Gossamer Wings

Photo by Ilianna Kwaske, Ph.D.

I feel bathed in light and wonder when I look at this picture of Henry standing in sunshine.


It is difficult to determine if my youngest grandson is lighting up the room through every pore of his body, from his feet through the tips of his hair, or if he is reflecting the sunshine streaming in through a corner of the room. It doesn’t matter. Somehow my daughter, Ilianna, captured the goodness and light that was Henry at five years old in his gossamer wings when he believed that he could become a fairy and do all the magical things that fairies do, and it fills my heart with joy.


When do we stop believing that anything is possible? It is precious little time we have to feel bountiful in who we are, what we can do, and what can surprise us around the next corner. Regardless of our age, our soul wants to live where endless possibilities hide in every discarded cardboard box and dandelion wish.


It is inevitable that a child cross over to that other side of life which is rooted in what we consider real and doable. However, is it inevitable as well that we lose that childlike joy of being?


In my life, I have been fortunate to have met adults who have maintained gossamer wings. Sure, they hide their wings while they go about every day tasks and making a living, but with people they trust not to judge them as simpletons, the wings spread and the child in them breathes new life and excitement, intoxicating those around them.


These are the people who seem to have a perpetual soft smile on their face, as if their lips were not designed to ever pull down in a frown. They belly laugh and sometimes snort at what others might see as silly. They embrace the grayest of days knowing that a blue sky is just behind the threatening clouds. They linger in the moment with family and friends. They find fun in simple things.


I have a wall of photographs of inspiring mentors, both people in my life and people I’ve learned about over the years. Among these pictures are ones of Albert Einstein playfully sticking out his tongue, Salvador Dalí curling his handlebar mustache, and Nanammal aka Yoga Grandma doing asanas in her pink sari at ninety-nine years of age.


To live with gossamer wings and dandelion wishes…that is my desire.

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