The momentum stopped. The stillness was chilling. It felt like a void, a finish line, an ending. It was over.
Last November, we dreamed of visiting all of our family and spending the kind of time with them that our past life rarely afforded. It was a vision that took shape while we were preparing to spend Christmas in Tuscany, surrounded by the kind of inspiring beauty that gives birth to new dreams. During our brainstorming session, the dream started to feel possible. We talked about landing in New York, visiting my husband’s family for six weeks, driving along the pioneers path across the country, and then visiting my family in Seattle for another six weeks. We talked about stopping along the way to visit special relatives and friends across the country and then jumping off the West Coast and heading for New Zealand to see my sister and her family. It was a vision inspired by family that was big enough to feel barely possible.
Within hours of the initial spark, the dream transformed from probable to inevitable. There was a gentle shift at the deepest parts of our foundation. We knew the momentum would soon outrun us and that our new dream would most certainly come true. It was huge. It was scary. There were too many details to even make them approachable so we just kept dreaming. We talked about watching the Yankees play with Grandpa Gene, eating Grandma Eva’s cookies, and staying with cousins in Chicago to make up for missed sleepovers. We dreamed about spending time on Orcas Island with my extended family and the smell of freshly caught salmon on the grill at sunset.
At times the details brought about anxiety: What will we drive across the country? Is the long journey across the U.S. doable with three kids? Where do we stop? When do we stop? How long do we stop? How will our business look in the USA? Will we leave again? How will we get to the Southern Hemisphere? How? How? How? The dreaded how’s were an indicator to go back to dreaming of anything and everything that brought us joy – Good Ol’ Fashioned 4th of July, an American hamburger, bedtime stories with aunts and uncles and tales of the open road!
As I was walking my nephew to the park this week, spring blooms perfuming the warm Cook Strait breeze, it hit me. We are officially in New Zealand. We made it. This is the end of the dream. This was the finish line we set into motion just one year and two continents ago. As soon as I stopped long enough to feel the ending, a huge space opened up within me. For a moment, I could feel myself slipping into old habits of “falling off” or “coming down” that I used to feel the day after Christmas, after school started for the kids, or the first day of vacation. It is a feeling of retracting and shutting down. I recognize that space as something different these days.
Now I know . . .
- The space is an invitation to reflect on what we have accomplished.
- The void is a blank sheet of paper asking for a new storm of thought.
- The finish line is a flash that leads to new starting blocks.
- What feels like an ending is the sound of something cracking open.
As we basque in a family Christmas in New Zealand and reminisce about our time with loved ones across the USA, the momentum is building again. New dreams are starting to percolate. Where will this next dream take us? How many paths will we cross along the way? What do we each hope to learn, share and give back? Where do our dreams intersect? Where do they diverge?
We are in the stage of possibility. It is important in this stage, not to fill the space with actions that are not aligned with the big picture. It is important to stop and to take the time to dream. In the words of Edgar Allen Poe, “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
Today’s Tweetable: It is important to stop and take the time to dream.