"There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go."
--Frederick William Faber, from the website of West Coast Mystic Arts
The other day I was telling an acquaintance of mine a plan I had in the back of my mind to run the upcoming Seattle Marathon without training, as a kind of meditative endurance exercise.
[A bit of background, I ran the Seattle Marathon last year. It was my first marathon and I had an absolute blast running it. I ran slow - my time was 5 hours 38 minutes, not even within shouting distance of qualifying for Boston - but steady and finished feeling strong and healthy.]
Needless to say perhaps, she was not supportive, and immediately unleashed upon me countless reasons why this was NOT a good idea, sure and certain injury the most compelling. I WOULD get hurt, there was no doubt about that.
As I stood there listening to her an image came into my head of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz and I could feel her cursing me with her long, pointy green finger. I laughed inside at her fear and her need to curse me with it.
After she left, however, I thought more about it and remembered that just the previous weekend my husband had wanted to do a triathlon without training and I had discouraged him and cursed him with my fear in just the same way.
As I thought more about it, I remembered countless times when I had been the Wicked Witch of the West to someone's Dorothy, cursing their hopes and dreams with my fears. I had done it to my husband, my sister, my friends, my children, myself.
Then I remembered the antidote to the Wicked Witch: Glinda the Good Witch. Blond and beautiful, she is hope incarnate. At that moment I decided I want to be the Good Witch, blessing my friends' and family's (and even my acquaintance's) hopes and dreams with light and love and moral support.
Next time someone comes to me with a hope or a dream, I am going to try and leave my fear behind, wave my magic wand over it, and wish with them.