I’ve been working on a big project.
The kind of project that haunts carpool lines and backs of grocery store lists. Words planted somewhere just beginning to bloom. And sometimes it can feel hard, like I am holding the words too tight, trying to shape them before they come out.
And these hands, busy building dreams, setting stone against stone.
The cutting, the gluing, the write and rewrite. It seems like forever.
Sometimes I just want to get it right. These words, the story, the truth being born somewhere in the invisible night sky.
And sometimes I just need the forest, the place where right and wrong fall gently to the ground, like fallen leaves. The place where soft laughter reminds me what a dream really looks like.
There are the people you meet in the waiting rooms, in the checkout line between ravaged four year old tantrums and ice cream melting in wiry carts.
And then, there are the people who fall from the sky, the shooting star people, no less magical than the radiant death of a star millions of miles away, painting a soft stroke of light across the night sky.
We met over breakfast in a small restaurant. My little family pressed up against the window, our first night spent in a new home without groceries or dishes unpacked. And her family, three booths south, two sweet girls, legs dangling from high chair and sticky, vinyl booth.
Her name is Emily.
And she is my, lost in a forest, friend.
And she said somewhere it is written, that for every stroke of decision we ever make, there is a bed of sand underwater, gently touched by the moving stream of your thoughts, making waves for every wish, every hurt, every sorrow and dream stretching.
And I think about that underneath, the place where this sand gets pressed from the hard feet running above. The place where the tender heart beats softly, pushing the grace up through the ground.
We met in the forest, her two girl plus one. And we wandered. Over the broken trails, under the forest's soft hold. We wandered over our dreams.
And the dream is here, in these arms, these eyes, in the cheek gently kissed by the wayward bend of afternoon light. There is no chasing, no finding, no searching to become here.
Just the dream, quietly growing underfoot. Already alive.
Sometimes we just need to dig a hole and rest there, let the vines climb up and around us, feel the bud just before it is about to bloom, all green and protected.
Because these dreams can feel like a forest, like the tender heart yearn for shelter.
And these chance people, theses where-did-you-come-from people, they wake us from our slumber.
Do you remember your dreams?
The fairy tale finger curl of happiness. The day we spent under the trees, listening to the deep heart beating from somewhere underneath.
And these little girl hearts searching the forest.
The dreams, the ones left buried somewhere beneath the weight of dark soil and heavy stone doorways.
Wake, small girl. Wake.
Wake to your dream, already alive, beating inside your chest.
And there’s the voice that says, “Let go.”
The long shadow darkness of hesitation and fear. And the twinkle light dust of forever. This is your dream. Forever.
Your mama heart song. Forever.
And when you feel like you can’t walk through the darkness another day, when the ground grows silent, take my hand.
Take my hand and run.
Because there will always be places in the forest that hurt, that cry when the light doesn’t find it’s way through the leaves, when the dream is lost, forgotten, buried somewhere beneath our hope.
But these hands, these hands, will always be here to hold you, as we search together for lost hearts, found.
Good night, sweet girl. Don't forget.
And we wake to our dreams to find ourselves. To come alive.
And there’s the story that grew like wild lavender, spreading seed and scent, quiet longing between fingertips. Words spread between foot and the open ground run back home. Into the quiet shade of curved blanket tucked under chin hold.
This forest hold, sunlight embrace and the search, the treasure underground. Chest opened. Heart found.
It’s right here, in your rocking mama arms. Your, once upon a dream, heart. This love at the end of happily ever after paths.
And for every mother unsure, there is the dream mother, growing underground.
Found in the search between leaves for the golden light of childhood wonder, where play catches our hearts in the gentle swing of deep breath letting go, hands open.
Somewhere underneath, where kindness doesn’t seek, but is sought in gentle hold. Where we sit under a forest roof, with rooms of soft light, doorways into forgotten bark wanderings.
And these eyes under a star filled sky, this one last shooting star.
There is a forest, where dreams are found.
This, once upon a time, dream.
Do you remember?