Monday, December 20, 2010

don't let your dreams be dreams

when daylight savings time hits and the nights get shorter--too short to go on walks in the country or swing on our front porch and watch the sun go down--robert and i are forced to find other means of evening entertainment. 

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.


angie on maui said...

I so enjoy your have no idea.

You are a beautiful person with so much goodness. You write beautifully and although I am brand new to your blog, the few posts I have read always make me think. And I love that.

Casey said...

Aw.. this is so wonderful and true! One of my favorite parts about the holidays are that there are so many efforts to help out those who are less fortunate than ourselves. The only thing that is kind of sad is that we can't take on this mentality all year long..

I think I am going to check out the Alaska show, sounds really neat.


Candice said...

I loved reading this! There is so much truth in those words; We may not understand the dreams of others, but we can help them to achieve. I love the way that you described that moment between the husband and wife when they shared understanding, so beautiful! I'm so glad you decided to help that woman for Christmas! That is so kind, and I'm sure the sweet memories of this Christmas will not fade from her mind for years to come. Have the most wonderful Christmas :)

Ana* said...

I so agree with you, Christmas is about giving back & making dreams a reality. My family has taught me this, I am so blessed to have people like them in my life, people like you who teach with actions. You have a beautiful soul my friend!!

ChinkyGirLMeL said...

Awww you are such a sweetheart. Thanks for inspiring me to help make this Christmas a better one for someone. =)

Thisisme said...

Lovely post, and how special is it to help make someone's dream come true. Everyone is very caring at this time of the year, which is wonderful, but wouldn't it be even more wonderful if that feeling lasted the whole year through.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

"it wasn't mine to get" - bravo. Seems like a simple statement but it's really not. It's a good reminder, especially as a parent. I think it's important to recognize your child's dream could be vastly different than what you secretly (or sometimes not so secretly) had planned for them.

the friendliest flower said...

reading your blog every day is like a breath of fresh air, i love it! and after reading about that show i want to start watching it, it sounds good! that is so sweet that you are helping a family in need, my father writes santa letters to kids in our area and if he knows a family is in need he buys them presents, wraps them and delivers them early christmas morning. its my favorite part of christmas.

Jude said...

I absolutely love "it wasn't mine to get." Oh, to be without internet all last week (unexpectedly) and return to your gorgeous's just lovely. I love how your simple statement reflects such an important sentiment, to respect each person for his or her own dreams, values, aspirations...everything. That it's theirs and not up to us to take it from them.

I hope you enjoyed a terrific weekend and have a wonderful week ahead!

Brooke said...

aw so true!!! I love how you relate things to your own experiences!!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Never heard of the show or the video game but I like your analogy of chasing the dream- and it is so true- What a wonderful good deed you have done in making someone else so happy- happy monday and have a great week!

Amber Blue Bird said...

you are such a beautiful person inside and out. I am happy to call you my bloggie friend :)

Mo Pie, Please said...

First off, let me just say that your writing is beautiful. I love reading your posts for that reason alone. But you also paint such a wonderful picture and now I want to watch this show and I want to go out and do some good.

Lynn said...

i adore the way your stories weave through my mind. at 1st i'm like "ya girl i'm totally into tucking on the sofa for warmth and nights of endless tv watching, reality shows and all." then i'm like "oh, sounds like an interesting show, maybz i'll check it out too". followed by "this girl touches my heart and how does she know just where the tender spots lay?!"

your incredible blog is somewhat of a touchstone for me and I always leave feeling better about life, believing in the goodness of people like you! ♥

shopgirl said...

I agree with Lynn. Nothing much more I can add to that.

Hope you're having a Wonderful fun-filled Christmas week!

Shalyn said...

Once again, I wish I could articulate the right words to express how much I appreciate this post. You never fail to make me think. Yes, I played that game in elementary school for hours and yes, 24 and Lost consumed my life for months on end. I hope to be a bit more mindful of people's dreams because of this post. Thanks girl.

Ashley said...

You are such a wonderful person...inside & out. It is such a incredible feeling to help out, even if it seems to be a tiny amount. I always love to help if I can..& I can't help but wonder, with times changing so quickly, you never know if you may be the one who requires a helping hand one day.

p.s That show sounds pretty amazing. I will have to watch it, myself!

p.p.s. I haven't ever played Yukon Trail, but I was definitely a pro at Oregon Trail :)

Merry Christmas!

Jessica said...

So true! Wonderful post!!

Nicole Jeannette said...

I LOVED Yukon Trail! That was a huge part of my childhood!

mskanorado said...

My husband and I watched the Gold Rush Alaska this weekend on Discovery. What thought you put into it! I must admit, I do believe that deeps the show ten-fold with these lovely, and insightful thoughts! I'm so glad that you are able to help someone make her dreams a reality! :)

Signe said...

Love that picture with him and his family! Sounds like a nice show :)

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