Of the many dreams we dream as children, I am sure that none are as ellusive or compelling as the dream of what one will become as an adult. I’m sure there are some of you who have dreamed of being doctors, some of being lawyers, others of being ministers. I am sure, also, that others of you dreamed of entirely more humble things, or that the more grand dreams of doctors, lawyers and ministers were actually more humble than they seem to the rest of the world.
Me? I can distinctly remember wanting–at some point–to be a dinosaur. A T. Rex, I believe. Who knows how long this dream persisted until the evolutionary truth struck this dream down as an impossibility. Likewise, who knows how long I dreamt of being the Pope… before that dream was also exposed as–in our society–impossible.
But at this point, I’m not terribly sure what dream of childhood has motivated me to this point. I cannot ever recall “Earning an M.Div” among my dreams. I am sure, though, that whatever has motivated me, it has been of a grander scale–the professor, the activist, the artist, the diplomat, the interior designer. These various cloaks for an underlying (yet unnamed) dream have always been marked by a few discrete themes. Books. Shelves. Desks. Color. Creativity. Nurturance. There has always been a measure of creativity and liveliness to the themes that characterize whatever form this unnamed dream takes. And though we are all works in progress, I am comforted to see these themes shaping my current life.
I have creativity (though I’d like to have more), I have color, desks, shelves, books, and liveliness. And I have more of these things than I anticipated wanting as a child. I have friends; I have love and loveliness in my life; I have bookshelves and fascinating books to fill them; I have my mother’s old sewing machine sitting under a lamp… ready to make something new and bright.
Though some dreams have been exposed as impossible, I am glad at least to see the content of my dreams morphing into reality. And who knows, perhaps the activism that inspired my papal bid is driving me to places I have yet to realize. All I do know, though, is that whatever form my dreams will take in the future, they are likely to be of a much more humble nature than they took in the past.
We can only hope.