Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
A Dream Deferred ~ Langston Hughes
Driving across the top span of the George Washington Bridge, I snapped photos with my cell phone like a giddy tourist. I couldn’t help myself; I was awash in nostalgia. I was filled with memories of the good times I had as a single gal living in NYC oh-so-many years ago. Memories of friends and relationships, adventures and mishaps, dreams chased and dreams set aside —all were embodied and brought back to life as I glimpsed familiar sites along the way.
I thought I was homesick for those long ago days —that a piece of me was missing —but, the truth is, I really am not; I’m not the same woman I was back then.
My life has taken me in such a different direction than I ever could have imagined. I didn’t accomplish many of the things I thought I would when I set out for California; I didn’t start my arts camp for kids with special needs and I didn’t make my fortune in the internet start-ups or high tech companies I thought would be my ticket to a better life. Yet, here I am —back in my hometown and significantly less well off financially than I was years ago —with tremendous appreciation for not only where my life is but for the path which has led me here.
The story is not mine to tell and I’m not sure I can even wrap my brain around it enough to convey more than the barest essence anyway. Suffice to say, my trip was an eye opening journey which was at once painful and liberating. Painful to see how people may or may not handle the adversities thrown in their life path —the roads taken and choices made which lead each of us to our current place on the map. Painful to watch dreams die and spirits wither from inflexibility. Liberating in the knowledge that there absolutely is choice in each situation and that strength lies in embracing the choices and making them work for us. Liberating in the knowledge that one of the biggest choices we can make is our attitude; the choice to either be vanquished or victor, diminished or augmented, to be resentful or resourceful —hopeless or hopeful —is one we can choose anew each and every day.
Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all