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Photos: Drawings by children advocating against development on Mauna Loa, found at the Imiloa Astronomy Center, Big Island, Hawaii

I spent the afternoon with my seven-year-old friend Victor. We were standing near a fountain outside of the strip mall’s restaurant before lunch when he asked me for a penny to make a wish.

He peered into the water to see if others had deposited coins before him, but he was undeterred as he counted that his coin would be first. In fact, a budding mathematician, he liked his odds that fortune still remained for his petition.

Backing up to the base of the water feature, he tossed the coin and spoke his humble request: I choose freedom for all people.

Me too. And, if not, I wish those of us who are not free the power to mentally transcend the hours of our captivity.

And, this reminds me of Laetitia Pilkington’s “The Wish, By a Young Lady:”

I ask not wit, nor beauty do I crave,

Nor wealth, nor pompous titles wish to have;

But since, ’tis doomed through all degrees of life,

Whether a daughter, sister, or a wife;

That females should the stronger males obey,

And yield implicit to their lordly sway;

Since this, I say, is ev’ry woman’s fate,

Give me a mind to suit my slavish state.

Source: English Women’s Poetry, Elizabethan to Victorian (edited by R.E. Pritchard)

*A fragment of the story is in the air; you just need to listen for it. When Victor uttered this wish aloud, I was grateful for what he gave me and for the reminder of the poem above.

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