**Previously published by Perspectives Magazine in 2008**
by: Rebecca Taylor
I live in the middle of a busy shopping mall and love being in the hub of everything. Sometimes when people need a break, they’ll stop by and sit on a bench overlooking my calm waters. The artificial trees surround me to project a virtual getaway in the middle of an often-chaotic world.
I am a wishing well and people throw pennies and other spare change into me, sometimes even hoping that something amazing will come from this small act. While taking time to be pulled in by the magic which some believe I possess, may seem ridiculous to certain people as I don’t really have any special powers, but I am important to the community.
Every year just before Christmas, a net with very small holes glides through my waters. Volunteers from a local children’s charity gather all the cash that was tossed into me throughout the year. This money is used to buy gifts for children who would otherwise have none. Sometimes the volunteers are stunned by the amount of money I have built up over the year. Pennies accumulate slowly, but they definitely add up over time. Knowing that I hold dreams of the wishers and the children who will receive the gifts of kindness is a wondrous feeling; it makes me shiver with joy.
The fact that nobody steals my money collected throughout the year is a great relief. It would be very easy for someone to reach into my cool swirling waters and take money. Maybe like me, they believe that this would be bad luck—to take from the desires, which people have left behind, and from the donations that help make children smile during the holiday season.
When I—a simple wishing well—think of all the places I could have been placed on earth, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. To be able to feel at peace in the middle of such a large commercial enterprise seems strange in a way. Some people come here because they need something, and others use a trip to the mall as an outing or sightseeing trip; but no matter what the reason is, many of them visit me. Each individual comes here for a different reason: some to toss coins in me knowing that they are going to help a worthy cause, others wishing for anything from wanting their parents to buy them something, to a happy ending from a difficult situation. I get all kinds of wishes. Sometimes people come back to thank me, but really they should be thanking a higher power who happens to sit in on the conversations had by my waters.
The money and I often converse about what goes on here. We have grown to respect each other. After some debate about value, the coins in my waters have come to an understanding. Within me, they all have the same worth: a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, dollar, and twoonie are equally precious—all were tossed into me for a reason—and all will assist in making a difference in someone’s life. These coins and I are all blessed to be able to make differences in the world. I will hopefully forever rest within this shopping mall while the coins will voyage from me into the hands of shop owners, and then go back to shoppers as change or to the bank in a deposit. Occasionally, different wishers with a different purpose return some to me. The money ventures out into the world and people venture to me. We are part of a very specific cycle helping make beautiful things happen.
Wishing gives people hope, which means I am a well of hope. I like that. It makes me feel special, loved. As a wishing well, I feel life’s affects on humans every day, each one journeying on earth’s powerful and emotional rollercoaster. I have learned so many lessons being where I am. So much of what I see and hear amazes me. Having dreams and faith can make anything happen; I’ve seen it in the faces of the people who come near me, especially those who come back after having received their wish. I have embraced my destiny; I am meant to be a wishing well and cannot imagine a better job on earth for me.