this usually results in following at least one, if not a half dozen or so, new television shows. in the past, 24, LOST and desperate housewives have been our vices of choice. but recently, we have been indulging in a little guilty pleasure known as gold rush alaska. this discovery channel program follows six men who gave up everything to trek out to alaska and mine for gold.
when i first saw this, my immediate thought was "this sounds like the yukon trail computer game." please tell me someone else spent copious amounts of time in front of the screen as a tween playing this fabulous "oregon trail" spin-off.
i thought it ridiculous. and foolish. and, quite honestly, crazy.
to leave home and risk everything--every single thing--for the mere chance that riches lie buried beneath the boulders. to spend a whole three weeks not mining, but building a machine to pan for gold, to sift through the silt and mud for tiny nuggets.
however, upon further viewing, the show turned a corner, and my feelings toward it did too.
the men brought their wives and children up to live with them in the wilderness. i watched one wife walk gingerly off the plane, taking in the snow-capped mountains and rivers around her. i watched as her husband led her to the cabin he had built for her, and i saw his daughter playing in the sand.
and it hit me.
his dream isn't crazy at all. because it's his. it's solely and beautifully his, and that alone makes it worthwhile. and he's chasing it, which is more than i can say about myself half the time.
seeing him with his family cemented that for me. i saw the love in his crinkled brow wash the worry away from his wife's eyes. they understood each other. they got it. and who cared if i didn't get it? it wasn't mine to get.
there's a piece of paper that i've been carrying around in my pocketbook for a week now. a simple name, scribbled down on the back of a take-out menu. a bra size. jean size. t-shirt size. a local woman that my bible study is sponsoring for christmas. a real, live woman, with real children, narrowed down to measurements and figures.
i've been scurrying about all week getting ready for christmas. almost every evening, i've found some reason to go to target, wal-mart or the shopping center, scrambling about for gifts and clothes for my family and friends. all the while, leaving that piece of paper zipped up. forgetting that a dream was inside there.
a dream of a christmas without apologies to little faces. without shrugs and sighs of disappointment. without excitement shot down. without "maybe next year."
and it doesn't matter that i can't relate. that i don't understand or can't fathom. because, like the miner, her dream is singular. and it's not my place to try and identify. all i can do is help.
so i went shopping tonight. not for myself or my family. but for her. to do my part, my teeny, itsy part, to make sure her dreams.
aren't dreams anymore.