At a networking meeting the other day, someone asked me to share a little known fact about myself and before I could help it, I blurted out that I used to be a fortune teller. And as usual, this prompted the person I was talking with to shove their hand out and demand a reading. I had to remind them that I said I “used to” read fortunes…I’m retired now. But it got me thinking back to those days and the memories of my short but sweet career in the world of the mystics.
It all started many years ago, when my family’s catering company used to provide entertainment services. Whatever someone might need to throw a great party, we could provide. And people thought of all kinds of things to make their parties unique from magicians to bands to clowns to, you guessed it, fortune tellers. Back in those days, if we had a way to do something ourselves, we did. So after seeing what a fortune teller could make for a three hour gig, I headed to my local library and grabbed some books. After a few weeks of researching love lines and life lines and practicing on my friends and family, I felt ready to head out and “entertain” some party guests. I even got a deck of Tarot cards and learned how to read those. I got dressed in my best gypsy outfit, dubbed myself “Madame Marie”, and prepared for my first guest to enter my tent. At first I felt a little timid, but as the night wore on, I got more comfortable and began weaving tales from the lines on the palms of these guests or the cards I read. Most people laughed and chuckled. I was careful to keep things light and not predict bad stuff happening. When the cards or palm lines showed negative things, I always found a way to spin them for the positive. What can I say? I was an optimistic psychic!
And it was fun that first night. And for many other nights after that. The money was good. Most people just wanted to hear a good story about themselves and maybe learn when they’d marry or how many kids they would have. I liked telling people how great their lives would be. But one night, that all changed.
I was at a house party and the owners had a beautiful basement perfect for parties. They had staged the fortune telling portion of the event in a corner of the room. Most of the guests had come over in two’s or three’s, laughingly joking about whose fortune was better than whose. Everyone was having a great time and no one seemed to take much stock in my predictions of their futures. As the evening started to wind down, one lady approached me on her own. I felt a slight shift in the atmosphere when she sat down. Her choice of readings were the tarot cards and I began to lay them out. The cards go either up or down when they are placed and their alignment determines if they are read as positive or negative. Hers were all in the negative direction until we got to the last one which ultimately would determine her future. That one, thankfully, was positive. Her reading was one that was full of the need for change and alterations of her negative path to send her down the positive path of her future. When the reading was over, I looked up to see her crying. She clasped both of my hands in hers and told me I had changed her life. She was in an abusive relationship and she was going to set herself free. There was a bounce in her step as she disappeared into the night. I, on the other hand, was stunned. I was truly happy that this woman now felt empowered to do what she probably knew she needed to do all along. But I was mortified that my party game had turned into something so significant for someone. I wasn’t here to wield that kind of power! I just wanted to make some quick cash and give people a laugh.
I quit fortune telling that night and with the exception of a few begrudgingly given readings to friends over the years, I’ve never gone back. I was young when I was reading fortunes at those parties and surprised that someone could put such stock in something that I thought was just for fun. I’m older now and hopefully wiser. I don’t think it would bother me at all now to have someone decide to change their life because of something Madame Marie told them to do. I realize now that people sometimes just need to believe in things that bigger then themselves. They need to feel something real and tangible is telling them to go ahead and chase their dreams and to trust with childlike innocence in magic. That’s why Santa Claus stories have existed for so long and Disneyland is the greatest place on earth. Everyone wants magic and wonderment in their lives. It’s essential to our existence in a world of struggles.
What on earth does this all have to do with Lily’s Pad and how did it end up in my blog? Not a whole heck of a lot except for that fact that I felt something stir in me when that lady stuck out her palm at my networking meeting with that look of pure excitement in hopes of getting her fortune read. No, it did not stir up any old desires to read palms. But it was a magical moment when I shared something that I did and I saw someone else light up by the very idea of it. And it made me anticipate the moment when I could tell someone that I was the Director of Lily’s Pad and see that same excitement spread across their face. I longed for the moment when my hyperclean playspace for immune compromised children would provide someone with the anticipation of magic and wonderment in their world of struggles.
We’ve all got these little hidden secrets of our past that make up the person we have become today. Maybe you all don’t have a Madame Marie lurking in your closet but somewhere, someone, along your path helped form you. I think of that lady who said she was going to change her life from time to time and I no longer feel badly for reading her fortune. I think I was placed there, in her life, in that moment in time, to give her hope and potentially a new chance at a good and happy life. I’m not foolish enough to think that I own any of that power. That was something or someone far bigger than myself that had the foresight to do that for that woman. I’m just grateful to have been a part of it and I’m grateful now to be a part of this path I have found myself on. It’s one that is full of struggles and some negative cards keep showing up but I’m confident that the card in the end is facing upwards with positive outcomes.
That’s all for this week, my friends. Go out and find your magic and wonderment in your world of struggles and don’t forget to turn those negative cards upside down. Lily’s Pad may be taking her time to come to life but she’s soon going to provide people with more joy than Madame Marie could ever have predicted.
(And no, for the record, I will not read your palm.)
–Written by Dawn Garza
Director of Lily’s Pad and Someone Who USED to Read Palms