These wishes

A candle-lamp shines through a window in Colonial Williamsburg, December 2008.

A candle-lamp shines through a window in Colonial Williamsburg, December 2008.

“I wish you, I wish you,
I wish you these wishes:
Cool drinks in your glasses
Warm food in your dishes.
People to nourish and cherish and love you.
A lamp in the window to light your way home in the haze.
I wish you the sweetest of nights
And the finest of days.” 
Judith Viorst

Most of the people I know are familiar with Viorst’s classic picture book about young Alexander and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I join millions of readers who are fans of this book, but there are books she has written for adults that I like just as well, or maybe better.

The little rhyme above is taken from her book Suddenly Sixty and Other Shocks of Later Life. Some of the poems in this collection are not relevant to me, but most of them are; some are strikingly so. Viorst has a talent for combining the poignant ups and downs of life with a remarkable ability to find humor in almost any situation.  It is immensely comforting to read her words and know that much of what we face in life is fairly universal. Her work glows with reassuring familiarity as she writes of the highly personal with confidence that her readers will understand and sympathize.

The words quoted today are from a poem subtitled “A song for our children and our children’s children.” But when I read them, I think mostly of the adult people I know right now: the friends I cherish, the family I will always love dearly, and the many faithful, fascinating and fabulous readers of this blog. I wish you all the lovely things Viorst mentions, and many more. Thanks for being here!


  1. Heba

    Thanks for sharing the warm wishes of this very heart felt poem! Wish you to dear Julia the same and many many more! ^_^

    • Thank you Heba, it is always a joy to hear from you!

  2. Good morning, Julia!
    First of all, I’d like to say thank you, and that I benefit enormously from reading your blog.
    Second, either Viorst or I don’t count to three very well …
    And fourth (?) when I think I have only a little to say, sometimes once I get started, I end up finding that I have a lot more to say, especially when it comes to expressing gratitude and love, which seems to be what Viorst is doing, so I appreciate any extra wishes for happiness that have worked their way in!
    Blessings on you today, too!

    • Susan, thank you! I’m glad that you like the blog. I looked again, and couldn’t find anything about three…were you thinking it said “three wishes” instead of “these wishes?” Easy mistake to make, since wishes almost always seem to come in threes in all the fairy tales. I can so totally identify with ending up having more say than I thought I would (I can just hear people who know me snickering and saying “Oh, no, REALLY?”) hee-hee

      • You’re right, Julia! Maybe I’ve made that typo so many times that I’m now reading it where it isn’t. Ha! And you’re right about “three” being a popular number. Often folks aim for three, as a symbol of the trilogy, so it isn’t just genies in a bottle!

        • I have always noticed that I have a deeply-ingrained preference for visual presentations that follow the well known “rule of thirds.” Three does seem to be an ideal number in many ways. Matt and I so miss being a family of three. Every time I now drive past the HOV lane as a driver, rather than riding in it as a passenger, it’s just one more little stab of grief that reminds me our lives are now so different.

  3. Cherie

    Julia, sweet sister, I wish the same for you. I have been thinking of you the last few days and keep you always in my prayers. Love and Light! Cherie

    • Thank you Cherie! I so appreciate your kindness and prayers. Keep sending that love and light! Sooner or later I might start reflecting a little of it instead of absorbing it all, but these are needy times for me. 🙂 ❤

  4. Amy

    When I was working I thought of that book soooooo often because for me everyday was a “railroad train pajama’s, plain tennis shoes, gum in my hair, forgot to pack dessert in my lunch, TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD day.” (I would say lima beans for dinner but we love lima beans) I would have moved to Australia but Stephen wouldn’t let me. Now I am very blessed and I don’t have to go to work everyday anymore. I will have to get the book you mention today. It sounds like my kind of book. I wish you warm sunshine and fair winds, I wish you lovely tea and yummy chocolate. I wish you sweet memories and restful nights. I am praying for you. I love you.

    • Well, you know I’m a lima fan too. When you get the book, be sure to read “To be continue” (p. 33) and “Just lucky I guess” (p. 76-77) – you will instantly know why these were especially relevant to me. I love you and I love having your prayers wrapped around me like armor.

      • Amy

        Yes I do know why those poems relate to you. Thank you for today. I very much enjoyed my pasta. 🙂 Thanks for returning the chocolate. I bet you thought I bought the wrong type by mistake. Love you.

        • I must note here that I only returned HALF of the ones you bought, despite already having an embarrassingly large stash of them myself. Hee-hee.

  5. Lydia

    Absolutely beautiful!

    • Thank you!

  6. Thank you and the same back to you. I love that poem though I have not heard it before.

    • Neither had I. She has published a book each each decade for a while, and I only recently discovered the one for turning sixty. Somewhere I have a copy of the one titled How did I get to be 40 (and other atrocities). I am an oddball who has always loved getting older, but she certainly does hit the nail on the head about some of the disadvantages. Always with humor, which is fun.

      • I love getting older too. I would never want to go back. I’ll check the library tomorrow for her books. 🙂

        • Great minds think alike. 😉

  7. Sheila

    Julia, not only has this week zoomed by but the month of February as well! I was anxious to see our new Verandah this morning and loved the exert that accompanied it! Our tea would have “white caps” today. It’s been so very windy on 428’s porch. I’m not familiar with the books you’ve mentioned but I’ll look for them when I’m in BAM. This was such a great way to start my week and I apologize for not sharing my thoughts sooner. I’ve thought of y’all this afternoon knowing the stormy weather was heading your way. I hope all is well! Hugs and prayers crossing the miles, dear friend! Love, Sheila

    • Sheila, no apologies ever needed for delayed responses here — look how long it took me to get back to these comments! Hard to believe that we will finally meet face to face this week. It will be one of the brightest moments of the week, I’m sure. ❤

  8. MaryAnn Clontz

    Sweet wishes & thoughts for your people. You are very good at caring for us!

    • Thank you, Mary Ann. 🙂 ❤

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