A Grownup Letter To Santa – Open Heart Story
Story By Cynthia Lee De Boer
“This truly happened to me over thirty years ago. I used the name Sheila as I wasn’t sure if I was going to share the truth about this story, but here it is. Imagine what you could do if fear wasn’t a factor and you knew you couldn’t fail!” Cynthia
A Grown Up Letter To Santa
Sheila sat in the shade of her patio, removed from the sun’s intense rays. The two-mesquite trees in her back yard were alive with chirping birds as a cool breeze blew in a soft whisper, gently swaying the leaves. Majestic saguaros covered a nearby range of mountains. Beyond it stood an even higher mountain range covered with pine trees and a light dusting of snow. The sky was a brilliant blue painted with a single feather like streak of clouds. Coyotes were calling to one another in their high-pitched shrilly voices.
The scene possessed all the signs of a warm southwestern spring day, but it wasn’t March, April, or even May, it was mid-December. Christmas was close at hand and Sheila was about to do something she hadn’t thought of in years.
Sheila was preparing to write a letter to Santa. Her finger traced the rim of her freshly brewed cup of tea hoping her words would come. Several minutes passed and the sheet of paper stared back; a blank reminder of the unfulfilled dreams in her life.
As a child her wishes quickly reached the page with no fear of rejection; always certain Jolly Old St. Nick would come through. The unlimited possibilities of her child’s mind no longer existed. Broken promises and past failures had taken a toll and doubt reined over her world. Still, she tried to reassure herself; maybe, just maybe this would be different. She drew a deep breath, picked up her pen and began:
Please grant my wish.
Doubt instantly sprang forth and Sheila dropped her pen, closed her eyes and sank into the padded high back wicker chair. It seemed hopeless. She began to think of all the past Christmas Days. My, how things had changed, Sheila no longer waited up on Christmas Eve trying to catch a glimpse of Jolly Old Saint Nick and his reindeer. She didn’t wake up bursting with excitement in the wee hours of Christmas Day. There was no race to the angel-topped tree adorned in twinkling lights, glittering ornaments and strands of shinny silver tinsel. No search for the wonderfully wrapped treasures bearing her name. For these things were for children who still believed in the magic of letters written to Santa. She was a grown woman and she felt foolish writing after all these years—foolish and desperate!
Sheila’s request wasn’t likely to be found in the letter from a child, as it wasn’t for a special toy or outing. Her wish was for something of immeasurable value. She wanted self-assurance, confidence that she was doing what she was meant to do and the strength that would carry her through the harshest of times.
Sheila’s recent decision to follow her heart and fulfill her lifelong passion was now being consumed in fear. The fear that makes people run in circles to nowhere, wasting precious time and not accomplishing a thing. Self-doubt had taken over; creeping in like a heavy dark cloud smothering her confidence. She quickly shook her head trying to jar the negativity from her mind when the cry of a huge hawk drew her attention to the neighbor’s tall cypress tree.
The wild bird perched on the very top of the tree. His weight bent the thin lush branches nearly to the breaking point. It was truly magnificent. Sheila dashed inside to grab a pair of binoculars and quickly returned in the hopes of getting a better look. She was in luck; the beautiful bird was still there.
Sheila focused on this unusual sight, studying the hawk’s every movement. She watched as he meticulously adjusted his dark feathers until they were perfectly placed. He continued to call turning his head from side to side. Surely he must be searching for his mate. All at once his piercing yellow eyes fixed on a spot in the sky. He leapt into the expansive sky leaving the treetop bent from his weight. Sheila followed his path and watched as he joined his mate and they began an amazing aerial dance. At times it looked as if their wings actually touched. The graceful acrobatics brought a smile to Sheila’s face. She admired their exquisite grace and beauty.
In a flash, they disappeared out of view, returning to their pine tree forest hundreds of feet above the valley. How incredible she thought, feeling very blessed to have witnessed their brief and unexpected visit.
As Sheila lowered her binoculars, she stopped to marvel at the device, which enabled her to see so far away. It was in that instant that her troubled eyes regained the confident twinkle, missing for so long. Smiling, she sat down and quickly completed her letter.
Thank you for granting my wishes when it was the right thing to do.
Thank you for the unfulfilled wishes that always seemed to turn out for the best, years down the road.
Thank you for the hawk, whose bird’s eye view, reminded me that there is a bigger picture than what I can see with my limited sight.
And, Dear God—Thank you for Letters to Santa—Thank you for today and—Thank you for the rightness of things
Your Child—A Woman—Someone who does believe in your special magic!
With that, Sheila placed her pen on the table. Confidence now filled her every cell replacing the dark cloud of fear and self-doubt. The letter was never posted, instead it was prominently displayed above her writing desk as a constant reminder of that amazing hawk and the lesson he brought her straight from God.