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  • Writer's pictureLara Karuna

Diva’s Adventures and the God of Wind’s Gifts

In the small town of Buonconvento, (Tuscany, Italy) where we live, they have a weekly market. There I bought our daughter Elli a helium LOL balloon- it’s everything LOL these days 🙄. In no time flat she undid the string and not understanding helium, watched in anguish as the balloon floated high into the sky never to be seen again. Still at an age where Mamma can fix all, she implored me to get it back, but by the time I saw what happened it was long gone, a small dot floating in the sky.

Keeping it real, I told her it was most likely gone for good. She cried and I tried to console her by talking about all the adventures her girl, “Diva” (She knows all the names of the dolls) would have.

Diva, I suggested, might end up in outer space, jumping through the stars, swimming the Milky Way, or maybe to another world, or another part of this world.

“Maybe Africa?” Asked Elli, hopefully. (She really wants to go to Africa).

“Yup, maybe Africa!” I said.

Thinking of Diva’s adventures seemed to lessen the blow of the loss and Elli was comforted.

“But she definitely won’t come back?” She asked.

“Well… “ I said, “theoretically she could.. once the helium runs out, she’ll fall, but it would be very unlikely that when she does it will be anywhere where we could find her..”

“But maybe??” She asked.

“Well it depends on the wind,” I said, “and…” I began thinking of my father. Since his passing, he communicated to me often through the wind. I’ve come to think of him as the God of Wind - like Hanuman (my father’s favorite Hindu deity), a master of Prana, the foremost yogi, and the manifestation of Bhakti (devotion). I continued, “You never know, maybe Grandpa will bring her back….”

“She’s going to come back.” Said Elli confidently.

“Probably not,” I warned, “but never say never!”

October 2nd was Elli’s 5th birthday party. Because of Covid we were decidedly outside, no matter the weather. It was forecasted to be a “90%” chance of rain at the time of the party . The weather here changes constantly and can often be forecasted incorrectly, however I’ve never seen it not rain when it was forecasted to the day of. Still I hoped. And a small part of me thought I could have a say in it.

Why I think I could have a say in wind started 10 years ago, when my husband Mirko and I were getting married in the middle of Joshua Tree, California. Every night there were hurricane-esk winds, so windy in fact that it was difficult to do anything- churning sand, blowing off our place settings. Undoubtedly, it would be an undesirable guest at a our wedding.

Right before I was to walk the aisle I closed my eyes and sent out a prayer to my father,

“Daddy,” I said silently, “I know you can make wind, but can you make it stop?”

I heard a voice pop up in my head,

“Well, of course!” And within 5 minutes the wind died down and stayed still until the party was over. During our 10-day stay this was the only windless night. I was sure it was my father giving us his blessings.

Now 10 years later, as we prepared for Elli’s party I asked my father once again to use the wind to help us. I said it out loud, in my car, like a crazy person:

“Daddy, it’s supposed to rain, to storm even! can you use the wind to push the storm away? As a gift for Elli?”

And again I heard the voice pop up in my head,

“Certo!” In Italian, said almost teasingly. Then in English, “Of course! Easy…” I was then infused with the most pure feeling of love.

A few hours later as we prepared for the party, the clouds began to gather, turning grey as thunder rumbled in the near distance.

“It says 90% chance of rain…” I said.

“Yeah it‘s probably going to…” Mirko trailed off, looking up at the sky, “oh wait… “ he said, surprised, “looks like the wind is blowing the storm away…” he watched a bit more… “yup, it might not rain!”

And sure enough, there was no rain. The wind swept it away! leaving our small village in the middle of the Tuscan hills temperate and pleasant. Elli’s party was wildly successful. I knew it was my father.

I felt so lucky about the weather, but my father had one last gift for us. For Elli’s party I bought a pack of LOL balloons that featured 12 large doll balloons. We taped them all around but by the end of the night they had either blown away, popped or possibly been taken…Who knows what happened... but they were gone.

As we made our way to our car, Mirko exclaimed,

“Oh wait!” And hopped behind the bar emerging with one last LOL Doll balloon that had somehow remained hidden, safe.

“One ballon survived!” He said, handing the doll to Elli.

Her mouth dropped. She grabbed the balloon excitedly.

“Mamma, you were wrong..” she said.

“What? What do you mean?” I asked, confused.

“You were wrong!“ she reiterated, “It’s Diva!” The balloon that flew away last week,

“she came back to me! You were wrong! She came back to me!”

I couldn’t believe it. Out of the dozen balloons only Diva remained, the doll Elli had lost the week before- back from her glorious adventures.

At home, as I tucked Elli in she insisted Diva be in bed beside her. She snuggled deep Inside the covers muttering possible places Diva might have seen as her big brown eyes began to shut. I kissed her forehead and thought of the memories Elli would have of this magical birthday. I then thought of my dad who helped make it so magical.

That night was full of stars. I marveled at them, feeling the mystery of the unknown and the miracle of life. Infinity loomed before me in its mind-boggling vastness. I was in awe. My father, now 20 years gone, still found a way to send his blessings to us, to his granddaughter who he never was able to meet on this plane in his once strong body, his handsome face glowing.

Thank you Daddy, God of Wind, Master of Prana. Thank you for continuing to be here with me just as you always promised, beyond space and time, through infinity and beyond.

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