When my brother and I were in school Eric had an assignment – I can’t remember what it was for, but that is besides the point – where he had to invent something useful. Ever the forward-thinker, my brother thought up an invention that was not only practical, but also fun.
What my brother invented was called The Sacred Light Bulb of Wishes and it was quite simple; you wrote your wish, legibly, on a scrap of paper and scotch-taped it to the broad end of the bulb and then screwed the bulb into a lamp and turned it on briefly. The lightbulb worked, in theory, by sending your wish to God (or whomever, it was never specified, I don’t think, in the User Guidelines) at the speed of light. The only stipulation being that you could only use The Sacred Light Bulb of Wishes to wish for a snow day.
I suppose, using that reasoning, it should have been called The Sacred Light Bulb of Snow Days, but in the thinking of a young child faced with a school project and /or test the only thing worth wishing for, at least in winter, is a snow day.
I can remember quite a few times when the light bulb actually worked. We never used it often, probably because Mom was more conscious of the fire hazards involved than we were, but we made it into a ritual. The Sacred Bulb was gently brought from its prestigious storage location (in the broom cupboard behind all the other bulbs) and reverently removed from its corrugated plastic sleeve (labelled with black letters in an unsteady hand “SACRED LIGHT BULB of WISHES”) and placed cautiously onto a folded kitchen towel. Thereafter whomever was wishing for the snow day the most (usually me as Eric actually did his homework) would write their wish on a scrap of paper, tape it to the bulb and we would gather around as the lamp was turned on.
After that we watched in anticipation waiting for the snow to fall. If you were awakened by the snow plow tearing through the neighbourhood at 5am it was always a good sign.
Obviously, now that I am no longer a child, I realise the light bulb never once acted as a fast-track to God and, subsequently, any snow which fell after wishing was purely coincidental. Finding out how magic works doesn’t make it any less magic, though.
In that vein and roughly the same spirit I am off to find an unused light bulb, a scrap of paper and a pen.