A dream for our future

I've shared a dream that I had waking up on New Year's Day this year with some of my closest friends. It has stuck with me for more half of this year, and it feels just as relevant on Independence Day as it did earlier this year, so I figure that I should share it with you, too. This set the tone for my year, and I want to keep it with me for as long as I can.

In my dream, I was driving around Minneapolis. There was garbage throughout the streets. Street signs were toppled, and buildings were crumbling. As I drove, I started to pass under a large sign - like something that hung over a divided highway - but the sign started to fall. I backed up the car as fast as I could to not get crushed. Chaos seemed to be everywhere.

In the car, I was listening to NPR. (Of course.) And, it sounded like the president had been convicted of some wrong-doing. I couldn't tell exactly what had happened, but the way that the reporter was talking about the president made it clear that things had changed. Maybe impeachment processes were underway. Maybe they'd already happened. In the dream, I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe our country wasn't all crazy, after all. 

I kept driving until I came to a park. This park was a giant amphitheater, but, like the rest of the city, it was covered in mangled metal, garbage, and pieces of buildings and signs. It was a mess. I couldn't drive any further since the road was completely blocked. I got out of the car and started walking through the lowest part of this giant dump of a valley. But as I did, I realized that people were sitting in the grass up the sides of the park, peppered between the piles garbage and rebar. 

People were just sitting and talking with one another. They were eating lunch and having conversations. I realized that it was actually the people that were pulling the town apart. They were tearing it down so that they could build it back up - together. 

I woke up from this dream on New Year's Day and thought, "We need to get to work!"

This dream might be a metaphor and a signal that this is the best time to make change happen in the world around us. For better or worse, the Trump administration has taught us that our government is pliable and not set in stone. We can make of it what we want. There are no more rules or status quo to prevent us from making the change we want to see for this country. 

If you could tear any part of this country down and rebuild it in a new way, what would it be? Let's do that. 

The things I learn from spending time outside...

For the last 2+ years (maybe more?), we’ve been planning to take out these three bushes behind the house and replace them with raised-bed gardens. Actually, I’ve been cutting them down as close to the ground as possible for that long. They grow like weeds, so I wanted to catch them this year before they had a chance to get even bigger later into the spring.

Ugly root balls of two out of the three bushes dug out of our backyard.

Ugly root balls of two out of the three bushes dug out of our backyard.

So, today we drove over to Beisswenger’s to buy a mattock to help chop the roots of these pesky bushes in order to get them out - and pick up some other birding/spring backyard needs at the same time. Unfortunately, they didn’t have exactly the tool we wanted (although we bought a ridiculous amount of bird things and ran into a dear friend). When we got home, though, I thought to myself: "I’ve been wanting to take these out for years, I should just see how hard it would be to dig around them." So, I grabbed a shovel and consciously thought to myself that it didn’t matter to me if I finished the project today or just tested to see what it would take. They were already super ugly and budding out with leaves, it didn’t matter if they were also showing their root balls and half-assed dug up. 

I stepped on the shovel pointing into the dirt next to the plant, and it sunk down snapping roots easily as it went. I dug all the way around the first plant, and to my surprise, I was able to simply lift off the pieces of plant - most of those pieces were dead after years of extreme trimming. I had dug all three out in the time-span of about 15 minutes. No mattock necessary.

Why had I not done this years ago? Why hadn’t I even tried? After all, I’ve had the parts to build the raised-beds for probably two years as well, if not more. I expected it to be difficult.

I got to thinking, what other things would be easier than anticipated if we just tried? What other things just need to start? Don’t get me wrong, I know that not all things we dread turn out to be simpler than we plan. But, have you ever had this experience? Have you ever pushed something off for longer than you should just because you expected it to be difficult?