In this Thanksgiving season, I am reminded of how the largest dreams are possible. Even a boy, or perhaps most particularly a boy, of 11 or 12 years can dream large. In that moment, it might be simply daydreaming but, it might also be the birth of a life-long hunger. In that moment, the yearning might just be a sigh on the heart but if firmly rooted, will hang on stubbornly in the background of his life.
The boy, sighing the early daydream, stared at the brightly lit windows of Christmas; he was destined for a long life and dreams often take that long to mature and come to life. But on that day, in that time, in that moment, one youth, on the edge of his young adult years, made the small town his touchstone, the place he would always call home.
Christmas was always special to him, all the more because he had so little - no siblings, nothing to really call his own, no real sense of place because of the moving back and forth between the small town and two much larger cities. At Christmas time, the street he walked along to school was like a fairytale. Grand homes. Bright, twinkling windows and porches. Front yards adorned with almost life-size mangers. None of this was at home so walking to school, on this street, in particular, was like walking through a wonderland. His dream took form and at last, he could put it into words. "Someday I would like to own a house on this street".
Fast-forward almost 60 years and most of life was behind him. Two children. Three grandchildren A long marriage. It had been a challenging life but a good life. The daydream was long behind him but not forgotten. The older he grew the more clearly he saw the possibility of a life on that street. But, one of the things you learn in adulthood is that sacrifices have to be made and if the choice is between an old dream and nearness to family, well, the family will win every time. Unless something changed. And change, it did.
And so, with that change, he found himself deep within that early sigh on his heart and surrounded by a dream unfolding, a dream coming true. That street, that house, reconnection with old friends - it was all coming to life, an unexpected life. He had never been happier.
Dedicated to my Pirate
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