Friday, March 10, 2017

Life Long dream

Tomorrow I'm going up to our cabin in the mountains for a week with my sisters. They're taking a class on baking. Bread baking, maybe. I don't know. I'll just be hanging up in the woods, breathing in the fresh air. It's a tough gig. I'm not a baker. I'm also not much for standing on my feet four hours to do something I don't have much interest in.

So here I am, back on wordaboutwords. Did you notice? It was a small glitch that I figured out all on my own. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself about it.

Here's what I want to talk about today, though.

This last year, during the silence here, I did something I've been dreaming about since I was about 12 years old. How many people can say that? When I was twelve, I read the book, The Flame Trees of Thika. After that, I began dreaming of visiting the Rift Valley of Kenya. I should be clear that I really wanted to go to the same Africa in which she lived--the early 1900s--but short of that, I'd take simply going.

In the summer of 2015, my youngest, SK, moved to the Rift Valley. Though a miraculous set of circumstances, she became the music teacher at the Rift Valley Academy. I wrote about this at the time. Her experience was life-altering for her. Transformative. She went over there wondering what God meant her to do with her life, and came home a year later, sure that God wants her to become a high school choir teacher. It might take a bit of time to get there, but she will. When God calls, He makes able. I am certain of that.

More so now than I've been before, in a way. He even anoints dreams.
It might take 47 years in the making, but He does it.

I visited the Rift Valley last summer.
This is sunset at The Rift Valley Academy. We were privileged to visit the last ten days SK was a teacher there. It was so gorgeous. I was astonished at how green and lush everything was, how steep the sides of the valley.

But after those sweet days in the valley, at RVA, watching SK in the community she'd grown to love, where she'd swelled into the role God made for her (she loved her students and the feeling was mutual!), came the part of the trip my heart swelled toward.

A safari.
Yes. This is what I've been dreaming of since I've known what it meant. A trip among the wild animals on the savannah of Kenya. It was four days that I have imagined all my life, dreamed in myriad ways. And I got to live it.

THIS!!! This moment among all moments. To see elephants in the wild. To see babies with their mamas, to see a herd together, wandering and being free. This is what I have dreamed of my whole life. And I got to see it. This close. This lovely, this amazing.

What do you dream when your one life-long dream comes true?

That's what I kept asking myself as we flew away. I loved it so much, was so blessed by it, so grateful for it. It happened. I lived it. And I will never forget it. 
 But what do I dream now?
What do you dream?

I dream of living my life like I'm always grateful. That's true, like I'm always spell-bound by what's in front of me. There are riches here. I don't have to be constrained by what I see on the news. I don't have to be stuck by what the world tells me is rotten in the state of Washington. I can look around and say, "Ah but look at this holy, created thing."
"Look at this wholly created thing."
Look up, look out. 
We live, we love. 
We get this wonderful thing called life, 
on this beautiful, diverse planet,
and I'm thankful.


Carol L said...

I was also a child when I dreamed of going to Africa. I don't know how old I was (probably younger than 12), but I used to watch Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with my dad, who was an expert on anything in nature.
I remember asking him, "Dad, can we go to Africa together?" And of course, he would answer yes! After all, I knew I was his favorite. (My mother would later say they did not have any favorites.)
But that didn't stop the dreaming. It wasn't until long after my father died that I realized that dream wouldn't come true.
Now that I've read your column, I once again believe that dream will come true in the next life in heaven. I can't wait to share that perfect world with him.

Carolyn Wiley said...

I so agree. I shared such dreams with my Dad. We talked about going to Australia together. He made plans for us to go to the 2000 Olympics there. It would have been a two-pronged dreams: seeing the Olympics and going to Australia. He died before we could do that. I have always thought that I'd share fulfilled dreams with him when we meet again in Heaven. I don't know what, or how they'll be fulfilled but maybe just being with him will be enough.
PS. I felt like my dad's favorite, too, but also know each of his kids were his favorite in their own way. That was the gift of being loved by a great dad.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Somehow I missed this post when you wrote it. I am glad I thought to take a peek and see what you've been up to and discovered this! I enjoyed watching your facebook posts when you were in Africa, and I could see that it was a dream come true for you...what a blessing and marvelous gift! It is wonderful when we actually get to have a "dream come true" here on earth in this lifetime. I am still praying about my dream of having a type of retreat place for people who really need to get away and rest, recuperate and be healed from whatever sorrows they have been through. A place to minister to people who are hurting, grieving or just plain tired and need a rest. I keep praying that someday the Lord will show us the place...and then I sometimes think He already has, but the time just isn't right yet. So I still dream and pray. I am so happy for you...and I know God still has more wonderful blessings in store!!