This may sound cockeyed but–without a religious streak strong enough to be sure prayers get answered–I feel doomed to a lifetime of worry. Yet I spring to action each evening when the stars show up.
I realize, of course, that if I tell you my nightly wish on a star, it might not come true. However, I am going to tell you anyway. It demonstrates just how greedy I am as I attempt to cover all my bases, cramming a kitchen sinkful of wishes into a single request. At the sign of that first twinkle, after silently reciting the Star Light Star Bright rhyme, I add I wish for all good things for my family and friends and for my family’s friends and my friends’ families.
For years I had a different star wish, which I also used on birthdays, that all my wishes would come true. But then I read this folktale, “The Three Wishes,” about a poor woodcutter who is granted three wishes. Without thinking, he wishes he had some sausages to go with the special wine he has just opened to celebrate his good fortune, whereupon his wife calls him an idiot for wasting an opportunity to wish for rubies. He retorts, “A curse on you. I wish these sausages were hanging from your nose!” You can imagine what happens next, and he has to use his final wish to get the sausages off her nose. From then on, I decided it was too risky to wish for all my wishes to come true.