Someone winked at me yesterday and it was awesome. It doesn’t matter the source…old man, tiny girl, or anyone in between, a wink signifies a shared knowing without the need for words, and it cannot be denied. A wink says, “we’re on the same page” or “this will all work out just fine, don’t you worry” or maybe even “I see you”. And who doesn’t want to receive those messages a hundred times a day? There’s something old-timey or even dreamy about a good, authentic wink, like it should be reserved for fables or a fairy tale set on a dark dirt path in a green forest, but the outcome is always the same. Fuel for the journey, a straighter spine, a quiet smile, feet moving forward.
Today in music class, we sang about a leprechaun who winks one green eye before taking off on his search for gold, and I would have been remiss had I not asked the children to practice their own winks as part of the lesson. (Note to all teachers and parents of small children: please ask your kids to wink at your earliest opportunity and watch them do it…you’re welcome.) I explained to them that winking is not the same as blinking. Anyone can blink and everyone does, thousands of times in a day, but winking takes practice. To wink at someone requires clarity and connection, the confidence to hold a person’s gaze, and an abundance of wisdom or strength within yourself that you’re willing to share, all concentrated in that one small gesture. Winking is helping a person up to the higher ground you already occupy, shining on a light on a path they may not have yet seen, and it’s the tiniest microcosm of a representation of what we’re all here for in the first place.
Tomorrow as I blare the music and wear the green and celebrate my HUNDRED PERCENT Irish ancestry (don’t you DARE speak of the Swedish/Scottish/Welsh rumors!), I will also be practicing my wink all day long, and I encourage you to do the same. As the blessing goes, may the road rise to meet you. May our little winks be the boost that puts the wind at a fellow traveler’s back.