You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one…
John Lennon, “Imagine”
I’m sitting in the park like I do nearly everyday for lunch, rocking back and forth on the swing, pen and paper poised, ready, waiting to write. A little girl skips down from the parking lot and I smile kindly at her grandmother; we say hello, comment about the weather, then she moves on and I remain.
I hear the little girl’s shrieks of laughter as she rocks back and forth on the spring ride behind me. “Watch out, Lady!” she yells to her grandmother. “Boats are coming through here!”
I laugh quietly, amused at her outburst, and think, “where do these kids get this stuff?”
And then I kind of pause, and I realize, and I remember.
Once upon a time, I was her.
Or at least, the idea of her.
Once upon a time, maybe we all were.
We were that little boy brandishing a sword-stick against pirate enemies; we were that little girl clinging to the side of the slide, unable to get off due to shark-infested waters below. Once upon a time…
Once upon a time.
Where did our once upon a time go?
When did dreams become so hard to reach? When did reality become a burden to bear? When did we stop believing that anything and everything was possible, and how did our minds get so clouded, our imaginations so buried?
Why can’t we be dreamers? Why can’t we believe? Why can’t we dare to hope, see beauty and opportunity in every moment, with every breath?
Why can’t a slide still be a fortress, where, if only for a moment, we can rule the world?
Once upon a time, I was that little girl, longing for playtime, loving and living in the moment, wishing on stars and believing that anything was possible.
Now I’m a woman on her lunch break – where once I leave this place there will be papers to file and phone calls to return. But that dreamer still lives on inside of me, and while I’m here, I’m there again — that place where hope and wonder reside. For a moment, I’m a kid again, as I pump my legs high and climb towards the sky, trying to take flight, pretending — believing — that for a moment I can.