When I was a child, the jewels sparkling in the
underground asphalt of the train station were to me like the
treasures in Aladdin’s cave. When I was a child, I believed
the camphor in a bag that we hung around our necks would
ward off the evil of polio. The bogeyman might really live
in the basement of my grandmother’s friend’s big old
house. I kept an eye on that closed door.

When I was not quite a child any longer, I grew skeptical
of tall tales like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and your
hair will grow curly if you eat the crusts of your toast. But
I still believed in other realms and that wishes might – just
might – be granted with a fairy’s help. And I was sure
grownups were all-powerful and wise tellers of truths. I harbor no regrets about those sureties.

When I was still young, I believed life would go on
forever, lived within the safe embrace of those I loved and
who loved me. Those illusions have since dissolved like
clouds into rain as I came to know safety is elusive and life
here does come to an end.

Though the sparkle of those magic jewels of childhood is a
distant memory, sometimes, as if I’d rubbed Aladdin’s lamp
with hope, a gift is given. An answer appears or a rare
coincidence arrives. Though doubts creep in, I still believe
there’s magic left in some realms of the world. I know
that’s my treasure now.

Barbara Bradley is a retired sculptor. A landmark birthday and ravages of later stages of life gave her fuel for new creative paths. She began to write essays and poems. A poem won a regional prize and she had two poems accepted by Creative Dreamers Writing, a Canadian Journal.