When was that last time you looked up at the night sky?
When I younger it wasn't unusual to lay a quilt in the front yard in summertime and gaze up at the heavens, particularly during meteor showers. Fireflies would dance, flitting here and there, katydids sang from the treetops. Cars rarely broke the quiet, and there were no neighbors close enough for me to hear music or televisions.
Total peace. Total contentment. In those moments my imagination ran rampant, conjuring stories. What had it been like for people 100 years ago living in my area? Did they look up from the same spot I did? What were their lives like, what were their dreams?
What would it be like to visit the bright lights in the sky? Back then I never would have guessed I'd become a published author, though I hoped "one day".
Then came the hard years, when dreams died and I gave up gazing at the heavens to earn a living and get by. Dreams, after all, didn't pay bills. I realize now how poor I was during those times, emotionally, if not financially, but they set my priorities straight of what really matters.
Without dreams, without flights of fancy, life stagnates. It's our dreams that guide us, give us reasons to move forward. Give us hope.
Now I'm older, living in the country, and once again I spend many happy hours looking up at night. Stars, the moon, passing clouds, and the phenomena of heat lighting all paint a beautiful backdrop upon which to hang my imagination.
Once more my dreams take flight. I've come full circle.
I only wish I could go back and tell my younger self, "Don't worry, it'll be okay."