This morning before the sky fills with white light I lie in bed and hear a flock of geese fly over. March comes in honking and I can’t sleep.
I pad downstairs and pick up the conversation on the dining room floor. We started this talk yesterday under a dewy sky. The last glimpse of February brought snow all day—thick slushy strands of light that left everything wet and cold. Cold to the bone. I worked all day and came home to fix supper and then drive Jeffrey back the way I just came. Drum lessons.
Some days feel like a constant retracing of my steps—never moving forward…just back and forth, back and forth in that same span of twenty miles. I suffer to see the new—I fight for fresh eyes on these days.
So as February disappeared under snowlight, I sat in the van by myself in front of the music store—waiting for my son to finish his lesson. I always bring work to do while I wait—books to read, keys to type on. But I was tired from a Lenten fast—this sweet taste still lingering in my mouth; the burn of the rich feasting I’ve given up these past days.
The book I was trying to read piled on more tired—thick conviction pressed heavy on my chest until I dropped the leaden words in the floor. They fell beside the empty yogurt cup—the morning’s breakfast eaten in haste on the commute—and rested on bits of dried mud left from the wet day.
I stared glassy-eyed into the fast-falling dark. Suddenly, in front of the store window stood a young woman—in a lacy mini-skirt, fishnet hose with tube socks pulled up over them, and army boots up her shins. She gestured to the piano on display excitedly and turned to her companions. Two skinny guys in hoodies materialized, both with cigarettes dangling between their fingers. All three stood in front of the window, cupped their hands over the glass to cut the glare, and leaned in to look at that piano.
I wondered what kind of band they might be in together, smiled a bit at her unusual outfit (stage presence, I mused), and tried not to stare.
That’s when it hit me. From out of no where.
Those three kids took off walking up the street, hunched down against the cold but laughing. Laughing and dreaming dreams. And I felt so old and tired and used up. And it occurred to me that some of my dreams are just not going to be realized on this side of eternity. There are going to be things that I want that won’t happen. I was already behind before I started dreaming and sometimes you just run out of time.
I was just about to the point of despair when I remembered Leaf by Niggle. That little story by Tolkien that helped him keep pursuing his dream. And then I remembered what Byron said—about how the word disciple means learner. How Jesus calls us to be lifelong learners. I reminded myself that I was made for eternity—that God put eternity in my heart and that is where this longing comes from.
I will have more than this lifetime.
And just as I was telling God this is all fine and good but what about right now? What am I to do with this feeling right now? Just as I was about to shake my fist up at that white sky falling down, the face of hope appeared. He opened the door and tossed his drum sticks in the back seat. Then he sat down right next to me.
And on the way home Jeffrey asks me this:
Mom, do you think if I try hard enough I’ll be able to live my dream?
This question from my 14 year-old son took me by surprise and my tongue felt too thick to answer at first.
But as I guided that minivan down that same 20 mile stretch of road that I had already traveled three other times that day, it became fresh and new.
Well, I said. I think it will make God happy if you try.
I reached over and squeezed his hand.
Everything falls in its proper place and I can hear the geese honking in the distance.
Sharing with Holley and her God-size dreamers: