“Nostalgia is powerful, but so is hope.”
Growing up in Kentucky, I spent a lot of time outside. I had a special place to think, to ponder life and the world. I went there to get away from my troubles. It had a magical quality hard to describe to someone not acquainted with country life. Some days when I visited, I was a gymnast creating elaborate routines; others I was a singer belting my latest heartache. I spent time there writing lyrics and poems in my mind. It was on a little rise beside a stream looking out over an orchard – Papaw (who specialized in rigging things up) made it for me out of a wooden board and two cables. It was my apple tree swing, it was my place to dream.
I had so many apple swing dreams. Even as a child, they brought me hope and comfort in times of distress. It’s still the same today; when I’m stressed and struggling, I think about the good things in my life and they give me strength to keep going. I think about future aspirations and this helps me cope with present stressors.
What are your apple swing dreams? A lot of mine have changed over the years, but some are still the same. For example, I’m still a writer at heart; the dream of writing a novel or memoir has been resurrected since Mom passed away. This blog is a stepping stone. I’m also dreaming (and goaling) toward early retirement in 13 years (teaching is rewarding, but it takes a lot out of you!) My retirement dream involves playing with puppies and grandkids, y’all! I only have one of the two right now – see pics below. Spoiler alert: we are getting two new girls next week. More pics to come!
June – she’s an angel 😇
Zena Warrior Princess in the foreground
Caesar, our Russian bear 🐻
If you’re unsure of yours dreams, or don’t feel inspired, I have some advice:
How to Identify Your Dreams (and resurrect your hope)
1. Dig where your tears fall…therein lies your treasure. Identify what brings you to tears; this is where your heart lies, and that is where your dream resides.
2.You must be vulnerable enough to be different; don’t downplay your uniqueness to fit in with the culture. Wear your coat.
3. Dreams are like photos. Hand God the negatives; God develops dreams in the dark room!
4. Live your real truth…the truth of your revelation trumps the truth of your situation.
Even thought my apple tree swing is gone, the gifts it gave me are not. The feeling of hope, the freedom to just be, and the ability to dream big continue to encourage me and lift me high.
Blessings on your life and week,