Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DREAM (01/02/20)
TITLE: The Path
By Marilyn Borga
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There are winter scenes of my sister and me. Our crimson wool coats contrast with the brilliant white snow and in the background are the haphazard patterns that our rubber boots made as we explored our yard. In one photo, my brother pulls me on a sled on our frozen shallow creek. I'm holding Mary, the pretty pony-tailed doll I'd received for Christmas that year.
Summer scenes abound as well. In one, I'm in some high green grass, wearing a periwinkle-blue dress and trying, unsuccessfully, to hold four lively golden kittens on my lap. In another, my mother and I are sitting, statue-like, on a mound of gravel in the middle of our barnyard. I hold dear each remembrance these pictures bring.
One photo evokes more memories than the rest. It shows the dirt path that led to our creek. I see the deep blue sky and the white scatter of puffy clouds of a mid-summer day. Mustard-yellow weeds encroach on the ruts the tractor made in the clay soil as my dad made his countless trips back and forth to the fields. I can see the bend the path made, marked by the gray, vase-shaped remains of the elm tree that had succumbed years earlier to Dutch elm disease. There are green trees in the distance, growing on the banks of the creek. Where the image ends, I journey the remainder of the way in my mind.
In my younger years, my mother would stroll with me to the bridge over the creek and I clutched onto her finger as we walked along. I can recall the feel of the dust on my bare legs and the pungent scent of the vegetation that our feet crushed along the path. As I matured I was allowed to roam the fields alone and to walk that path to the place where many of my earliest daydreams were formed.
Sometimes I sat with my legs dangling over the weathered wooden bridge and just watched the sunlight shimmer on the water below me. On sultry, lazy days, I would slip down through the grasses and reeds to examine the creek close-up and to wade in the cool water. The water was shallow and flowed quickly over the round white stones and coarse brown sand. Silvery minnows gathered in sluggish pools near the shore. If I gazed toward the deeper water upstream, I might catch a glimpse of an occasional turtle, frog, or water snake. If I were quiet, the air would fill with birdsong.
When storms were brewing, I took note of the way the leaves shivered and turned and how the wind roared through the towering beech trees. The beauty and majesty of it would often leave me awestruck. I studied all these things and, in my child-mind, I sensed a kinship with the One who made them. What did my future hold? Where would God lead me? Would I someday marry, travel, write a book, climb a mountain? The possibilities seemed endless as my dreams took flight.
Oh, I cherish the memory of those days when I had ample time to contemplate the mysteries of life! I had learned about God in Sunday school, but that dusty path led me to a peaceful solitude where my thoughts had room to expand, where I dared to dream about wondrous things and ponder how I might fit into the bigger picture.
Decades have passed in which my faith has been tried and tested, nurtured and strengthened. Many of my dreams from that childhood time have been fulfilled, but in this new season, they have taken on a different tone. Today's dreams are less about me and more about others. Today's dreams are filled with longings and prayers that those I love might also find that narrow path, the quiet still spot that will lead them to a place of wonder and oneness with their Creator.
I will keep on dreaming. I will keep on praying.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)
I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. Psalm 40:1 (NKJV)
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