I dreamed of being a hero. Putting on Mother’s old dresses and twirling around like a dandelion seed in the wind. I didn’t sip tea with dolls, I rode horses and fought imaginary villains and leapt over molten lava, swinging from a rope on a tree. Yes, my Barbie kissed her boyfriend but she also went over cliffs tied to a string, on her brave mission. I wanted to save the world.
I dreamed of being an artist. Too impatient to finish college I drove to Los Angeles to be a musician. From dive bars to famous recording studios, I wrote songs that made me ache, that meant something, that said something, that made people feel. I wanted to leave my mark in the world.
I dreamed of a peaceful world. I taught my children to be kind, to share, to turn the other cheek. To soar like birds in their own way, and to help others find their wings. War, in any flavor, was wrong. I wanted to shelter my children.
I dreamed of a perfect world, but life zigged and zagged me through paths I couldn’t steer against, through tragedy I could not erase, through mistakes I could not fix. I dreamed of a perfect world, but instead I grew in wisdom and strength. With that came an elusive inner peace, which is there when I remember to look.
I woke up on Memorial Day. I remember with gratitude the heroes who fought, the artists who stirred our souls to action, the peacemakers who gave us hope, and the blind perfectionists who screamed in the wind until their message dissipated to compromise and change.