The last couple of weeks have been heartbreak city for many of us with the loss of Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, and just last week the great voice of Don Pardo. My emotions, as yours probably are, are on sadness overload. So this week I have decided to drift into make-believe and fantasy. I leave the question open, though, is it really just a dream?
One summer in the 1700’s, a boy walked up his favorite hillside, the dark blue sky and white clouds drifting above the water, and looked at the harbor below, seeing the sky reflected in the blue waters, made more beautiful by the white sails of the tall ships and the white clouds right next to them. It was as if the sky was the sea and the sea was the sky. It seemed to him that the world could be turned in either direction and still keep a steady keel.
He continued his hillside walk to the highest point, looking down on the harbor he loved, down on the schooners and whalers, the frigates and war ships. It was the ships that carried goods from faraway exotic places that thrilled him the most. He dreamed of the day he too would sail outside the harbor to those places of mystery and magic. The sea called to him like a mistress waiting in the dark, barely hidden behind a dream, calling to him to learn from the trade winds of life that would forever blow.
On this day as he looked at his town, he wondered what changes time would bring, how hundreds of years would change what he saw, the new and incredible things that would change his town that he would never see. Oh, how he longed to be a part of this place forever.
Hundreds of years later, I wake from this same dream, the dream I have had repeatedly since childhood, the dream of a boy and the great sailing ships, the harbor, and the view from the top of his hill.
That same morning, I walked to the top of the hill and looked down. I knew this place had spoken to me, had called to me through the ages. Even though the skyline had changed, the sky had not, and though the ships had engines instead of sails, my harbor remained. As I stood on my hill, I could not help but wonder, which was the dream?
It was once again as if one was either, and both existed one inside the other, and this place had always been and always would be my place in time and space. There was more to know, and I knew that the dream would continue and the question would remain. Which was the dream, the boy or the man? Could you turn one, one way and one the other way and still have an even keel? Is the dream a memory? Is the spirit of the boy still walking those hills today as the man? And what role is time playing?
Not sure what flights of my imagination wait on the shores of Rambling Harbor, but join me there and give a listen.