To Build Instead of Destroy

There is a hilltop away from the world in a place from my past. I dream about this place sometimes. There is a tree on top of the hill. The tree is not tall per se. The tree is more wide than anything else with its limbs spreading out in such a way. I view this as a safe place. Life was different for me then. Summer mornings were a different type of quiet. The breeze that swept through the tall grass was calm and peaceful.

In winter, the grass turned the color of light tan. Snow covered the ground and the special tree gave up its leaves. The limbs were empty and gnarled like old fingers pointing in sideways directions. In spring color returned and whether the season was winter, spring, summer or fall, there was a distinct look to each season. I view this in my memory as a place of peace. I dream of this place. 

I dream that I am there. Most times, I am alone. Most times, I am searching for guidance or looking for an answer without needing to ask a questions. Sometimes I am here to find solace. Sometimes, I am here to reconnect with an old source of inspiration. I don’t speak in these dreams. Everything is unsaid and yet, everything I see, think or feel is perfectly understood. 

Maybe this is my subconscious calling out to me. Maybe this is the inner-me, asking to clear my head or rid myself of the sorry schedules that take up too much of my day. Or, maybe this is my mind keeping the sacredness of a memory. Perhaps this is my way of utilizing the sanctity of memory to search for a moment of peace; to comfort, or to soothe, to console, or to either assure or reassure and find peace within myself. Or, maybe the answer is none of this at all.

I can tell you that without fail, our life comes with complications. I often laugh with people about the so-called joys of planning a wedding. We talk about the celebrations of love and the vows of connectedness. This is something that goes from the moment of “I do” until death do they part.
And then there’s the party. Then there’s the band and the first dance. Let’s not forget the flowers and the arrangements. Plus, what about the out-of-town guests? Who is going to stay where? Then there’s the seating arrangements, which are never easy because there’s an aunt that no longer speaks to a cousin. There’s a cousin that can’t be seated near the bar because he drinks too much and almost always finds himself naked in the parking lot.
I have seen the arguments about seating arrangements. And, to be honest, I’m sure that at one point, I have been a problem in someone’s seating arrangements too. 

I mean, think about this . . .

We are gathered to celebrate the love of two people and share with them the bond of matrimony. The intention is to have this be the celebration of all celebrations, and yet, the distractions and the drama can absolutely be insurmountable.

In fact, I performed a wedding a few months back. Perhaps in my life, one of the biggest honors of my life was to act as the minister to join one of my oldest friends and his new bride together, forever. However, the planning was a bitch! The plans went through countless changes. The guest list had to change. The venue had to change. The set up had to change and the seating arrangements had to change. Unfortunately, the schedule of this wedding was changed almost weekly because of an outbreak of a virus; otherwise known as the pandemic (AKA Covid-19).

I am telling you that we are living in interesting times. These are times that will go down in the history books.  Perhaps the wedding might not make the history books, but, — for one couple this wedding will be so valued and so memorable that nothing can ever take away the experience.
It is here though. Do you see?
There is a lesson to be learned. There is the fact that yes, life will become complicated. Plans will and do change. Not everything will come through as we had hoped. However, if we are focused; if we are consistent and persistent, — if we learn to keep working and disregard disappointments, we can find ourselves equally as happy.  

There is a memory from my youth on the Fourth of July. I remember looking up at the nighttime sky. I remember the splashes of color from the fireworks. And the oohs and ahhhs of the crowd, — wow, all of us with our heads bent back to look up and view the sky. This was beautiful. I know that this day only comes one a year. I know there are 364 days that are not celebrated the same way. But yet, on this day, we celebrate. We light up the sky and take note of a special occasion, which is meaningful to us all.

This world of ours is a very special place. It is made up of special occasions, special times, and special places. For example, no one else knows about my place on the hilltop or its meaning. Only I know, which is fine. I drove there a few years back after a funeral that was farther north. This place is part of my wellness. This is part of my youth. This is part of a promise I made to myself back when I thought I was going to die. And partly, a piece of me did die here. Yet, as a result, I was reborn here as well. My life evolved. I learned to mourn here. I learn to weep here. I learned to live and learned to grow. Perhaps someday, I will pass on my lessons and build a place which is exactly the same.

No matter what comes or what happens in life, you and I, we still have a race to run. We still have a life to live. Nothing stops. Time does not wait or care or regard our concerns. Not at all. The point is deep down, there is a source; there is a wellspring, there is a something; call it whatever you want but deep down, there is the spirit of a dream, just waiting to be set free.

Maybe this dream is a symbol to me; to hold onto my goals and avoid the distractions that deter me from peace. Maybe this is a sign that my thinking has overwhelmed my core and that my distractions are disturbing that path.
Or, maybe this is nothing else but a silly dream of me on a farm, far away from where the rest of the world is. Hoping that I find my way back here one day. This dream could be nothing or it could be everything. The direction I choose to take this is up to me.

By the way, in one of the best wedding pictures I’ve ever seen, all the groom’s men had black eyes from a fight the night before. What a wedding this must have been, huh? The couple has since built memories and discusses the picture with laughter.

Isn’t this what our goal in life is supposed to be?
To build memories instead of regrets?

I like this idea to build instead of destroy
to defy disappointments
to live instead of exist
To laugh, to howl, to dance, to “Trip the light fantastic”
to enjoy this world with all its craziness,
all its hopes, and all its glories.

What a great idea.
It certainly beats complaining.

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