Sound of My Dreams

Friday, August 8, 2008

A couple years ago, I began a document with a number of random essays in an attempt to find my writing voice. I was looking for an easy post today and ran across this entry from March 30, 2006. I needed this today.

My window was open again.

Dusk was creeping across the landscape now, and I was comfortably settled in my “window seat,” a padded bench situated just beneath the window sill, writing in my journal.

Well, thinking about writing, at least.

The smell of the cooling evening air drew my attention to the world outside my window. I noticed the lingering fingers of the sunset streaking the few clouds that framed the stage for the first few stars braving their first appearance for their nightly show.

I was 17 years old. The world was at my feet, and I had dreams and plans and wishes and goals and my whole life to make them happen. I was as yet unreached by the responsibilities and burdens of adulthood, but I was old enough to think myself an adult. I’m sure I had been journaling about my most recent crush—Kemper was his name, I remember. He was a thoughtful Southern boy with the deepest bass take on the Virginia accent I’d ever heard. I was old enough to realize that I wasn’t old enough for marriage, but I was quite convinced there could be a someday in this crush.

I smiled at myself in my “adult” wisdom as I thought about it. You’re being silly, Kelly.

Silly or not, though, the thoughts were pleasant, and as I drank in the beauty of the evening floating through my window, I spun more dreams about what I’d do when I was free to make my own decisions and choose my own path in life. I didn’t bother turning my light on as I sat quietly, chewing on the eraser of my mechanical pencil.

The darkness crept over my bedroom, bathing me with a strange warmth. I wasn’t frightened. I could hear the peepers on the pond across the field, keeping their vigil, singing their comforting song that had often lulled me to sleep during the spring and summer. I felt safe.

Seven years later, I found myself walking through the lobby of my office building at my 8:30-5:00 job when I passed a college student, a boy of about 18. He came flying through the main doors, his hair tossed in the wind, breathing heavily as he rushed past without seeing me, quite intent on catching someone beyond me. His eyes were alive with the fire of the warmish spring day beyond the doors, and with a youth not yet touched by disappointment. The world was his.

I found myself suddenly homesick.

That evening, my husband and I opened our study window to let the freshness of the new spring night in. The sound of the peepers drifted through the screen, drawing me back to another time and place, when the world was younger, when nothing was impossible.

It’s never terrible to be young. It’s just terrible to be too old to remember your innocence. I hope that the smell of the night air and the songs of the peepers will always remind me of my youthful dreams. Who knows? I may be grown up and jaded now, but they could still come true.

Hey, if you have any thoughts or critiques on this piece, I'd love to "hear" them.


Alethea Jordan said...

That's awesome! I love the "aroma" of a gentle, quiet evening.

Tricia said...

I like it! There is something really beautiful about being young, thinking all your dreams will come true, and believing in the impossible. You captured that "longing" very well. Did you help with Faith's website too, btw?

Kelly Sauer said...

No, that was all Faith or Matt. :-)

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