I Stepped on a Lantern


Jimmy and I walked along the shores lining the coast of Nova Scotia. A wave crashed against the rocks and splashed us. We jumped back and wiped our faces. "That was a big one!" I laughed.

The water retreated. A bottle lay stranded between the rocks. Jimmy picked it up. He looked at me. "Mike, what if we found a magic lantern? If we rubbed it and a genie popped out, what would you wish for?"

"I'd wish for a TonkaŠ truck. I want one of those big yellow ones to carry dirt around. We could build pretend cities and roads." I said. "And a new bike - one with gears. I also want all the candy I can eat."

"Cool!" Jimmy said. "I want to be grown up with a car, a house and a boat."

Years later, in my teens, a friend asked, "Mike, if you had three wishes, what would you want?"

"I want a sports car, a place remote island and a butler."

In my twenties, I wanted money, a house, and a chance to see the world.

I married and had children. I'd wish for the bills to be paid, a company of my own, and for my kids to succeed.

I missed the mark. My jobs changed every few years. We moved many times, never being able to settle in one place. My wife took a trip to heaven. I was alone with two teenagers, far from our original home.

One morning, I woke up, turned to my side, and there was Ginny. In my dreams, I must have stepped on a lantern. A genie offered me a wish. It came true. There she was - my new wife. She slept beside me. Cars, money, and homes: who needs them?

Love!

The "Beatles" said it best in their song, "All You Need Is Love."

Love is all I need.

I matured and my wishes changed. The things I wished for in the past could only be obtained with money. One thing I didn't wish for was love - one of the few things I could receive by giving it.

I looked at Ginny again. Her eyes opened and stared at me. I opened my arms. She slid into them. Her heart beat against my chest. Our lips touched. We were one - complete. I don't need anything else.

I had it, but I didn't know it. When I lost it, I was lucky enough to find it again.

I stepped on a lantern and got my wish.

Michael T. Smith [email protected]

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