The lock clicks open and we enter the house, holding our breath, excited and nervous and wondering if this is allowed. Floors creak under our feet, and all at once, it feels small in a good way, old in a good way, and slightly overpriced. (In a good way?)
We walk around the place, touching walls and examining empty bedrooms, a house in-between the home that was and the home that will be for someone. We aren’t going to buy it, we know that, and our Opendoor app doesn’t really care about that. And yet that only seems to serve us better, to allow us to dream in a way that we would be hesitant to if we knew the ground we stood on could be our reality. What would you do? Paul asks me, and I walk into the kitchen, boldly proclaiming I would knock down this wall, push this one out to make a breakfast nook, and tear out cabinets- but keep the mudroom, because real grown ups have mudrooms.
We are dreamers, we always have been. When we were engaged, we used to go on hikes together, spending hours stepping up and forward over dirt and on top of boulders, dreaming the whole way up the mountain. What would you do if you could do anything? What would our life look like in one year, five, ten? What would it be like together- where would we be, what could we be doing?
The area director of Young Life in Boulder drilled it into my head that without vision, the people perish. So we try, hard, to have vision and hope and wild dreams and ideas that seem impossible- and then we tell each other, sometimes gently, and sometimes with more urgency, to go for it. Not to be afraid, and not to just dip the toe in, but to dive.
We took our homemade salad to go on Tuesday night, to a nearby lake with a bottle of wine and Paul’s guitar. Moments like this can seem so fabricated at times, so full of an ideal of what an evening picnic with my husband should be like, but this one was last minute, and it felt right.
We sat and talked and ate and then Paul played and we sang songs for the lake, for the weeds and the fish and the stars that poked out. Our imperfect pitch carried across the lake to the fishermen a few hundred yards away, but it didn’t matter. We moved from Brown Eyed Girl to Blank Space to Ulysses by Josh Garrels, and it was an overlapping and combining of rhythms and sounds. The word I would use in the past for our lives, for our music selection, or for our time spent has often been “random”, but I’m trying to move away from that now.
Not random, but collected. Yes, it is from different perspectives and cultures and places and voices, but our path is not just random, but collected, and intentionally spoken.
I watched a video the other day by a church that grew from 300 to 3000 in a couple years, and they talked about how during that season, even though they prayed consistently, their decisions often felt random, as if they were just opening a map and guessing at their next destination. 20 years later, at 17,000 weekly attenders, they can see that what they thought was random was actually a well-thought out plan by their Creator, bigger than they could have imagined.
We dreamed about playing a set together at the end of our picnic. Why don’t we just do it, I asked, bouncing in front of Paul as he packed up his guitar and handed me the empty salad bowl.
Why don’t you? The stars answered, winking at us as we packed up the guitar, you already did.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (This is my third attempt, after being inspired by watching my mom complete the whole thing- and this one is sticking)
Olivia by Ian Falconer
“Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison
“Blank Space/Stand by Me” Live From Spotify London, Imagine Dragons