In the night I dream I am a child.
This body sheds free the years and I am unfettered once again. My torso becomes a breath, these legs long and lanky, my arms–two sticks reaching out from the trunk of me. I am a stranger in my body but I remember this. Oh, yes, I remember this. There is sun-warmed moss beneath my bare feet and I am loosed to run—limbs strong and tireless—forgetting sorrows lived into this skin.
In my dream, we are on the cusp of summer, ready to dive headlong into her depths. I feel her breath fan out on my sleeping cheeks—feel her days linger long before me. When the night comes, so does the dew…soft-gathered on blades of grass. Moisture in the air wets my lungs, clings to my skin. Summer beckons me to stay outdoors long into the night. And my child-self delights to be her guest of honor.
We are catching fireflies. Each twinkling star in the sky above is matched below by a living one and I feel my heart startle with joy each time the air winks before me.
But when I wink back and open my eyes, the dream is gone. And so are the fireflies.
Darkness still lingers but morning peeks at the corners of my window. I move from the bed and feel the fullness of the years gathered up in this body. I creep downstairs and light my candle—my Christ-light. It floods clarity, eyes slowly adjust and I move from vague dimness to this brilliance.
I sit by the window and think about the dream.
When did I forget? When did I grow too old to feel the joy of legs flying free under stars?
But maybe it’s not the sum of the years. I feel Him nudge me. Maybe it’s my mental age. I’m too mature for such things. Too wise.
It’s then that I remember something I recently read.
In her book God in the Yard: Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us, L.L. Barkat tells me about Wisdom. She reminds me of Proverbs 8, in which Wisdom speaks: When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep…then I was beside him, like a master worker…
If wisdom is a master worker, I think, then I will just stay here by the window…let the children play in the red glow of the sun. Not me.
But…Barkat tells me more.
…I never noticed the playful attitude of Wisdom, until one day when I read the footnote; “master worker” can also be translated “little child.” Have you seen a little child, delighting in something he loves? The sense is far different from a master worker, which elicits visions of toil and exclusionary concentration…When I could see Wisdom dodging God’s feet, chanting singsong, clapping hands, this radically changed my view of God’s invitations…God in this particular passage seemed to call me to play.
Restless now, I move outside under disappearing stars. I can never feel Him as near when the sky is all shut up. I sit in the shadows on the porch. The robins are not yet roused from their nests and the stillness thrills awake the sleeping parts in me. Leaves wave in breeze as limbs bend and sway, light begins to seep in at the edges of the horizon. There is moisture in the air—God’s breath all over me.
Come and play, he breathes. Come and play.
I think about my children asleep upstairs. I feel my heart begin to lift.
Is it wise? I ask Him, uncertain.
It is so very wise, He says. Come and play.
Before I can change my mind, I run. In the dim light of dawn I find the heavy swing and I fly. I pump my legs and reach my toes to the sky. My long nightgown flows out behind as the breeze catches me. The morning dew clings to my skin, leaves my hair hanging in damp wisps…washes me clean. I lean my head back and feel laughter spill from my throat.
I haven’t forgotten. I haven’t forgotten how to fly at all.
When I come back down, I see them looking out the window. My boys are wondering if their mommy has lost her mind.
They haven’t seen anything yet. Just wait until they see me catching fireflies…
by Laura Boggess, The WellspringLeave a Comment
Faith Barista Bonnie says
Laura, you’ve shared a beautiful dream… that you dared to make come true that morning.
Wisdom and play… I never thought of the two together. I want to be wiser, now having read this. 🙂
Thanks for the scrumptious thought of pairing the two. Your words, as always, open up something new!
Mary Joy @ Snapshots from my Heart & Home says
Oh wow! I love it!!! Sometimes we do have a tendency to get too “mature” for our own good. I watched my boys playing with the fisher price barn, garage and airplane yesterday and the memories of when my brothers and I spent hours doing the same thing came flooding back!
I think that today I will get down on the floor and be a little “playfully wise” right along with them. Thank you for this beautiful and wise reflecting to start my weekend. God bless you!!! You have a real gift.
Encouraging in His Love,
deb @ talk at the table says
love the images ,
and of course the nudge.
what a unexpected but not,
surprise to see you here this morning.
it feels a bit vulnerable, this play , but it is wisdom. whether I’m shooting hoops with my oldest man son or dancing to Justin B with my youngest, I feel like I’m flying. And it’s beautiful.
This may be one of the most profound things I have ever read. I feel free just reading it! I think there will be some firefly chasing going on in our backyard tonight. I may even leave some for the kids. 🙂 Blessings!
Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience says
You dream… and you fly. You tell us we haven’t forgotten either.
And when children think you have lost your mind — they may just find that you’ve found your heart.
I pray I never forget your art here (and L.L. Barkat’s too!)
I can’t wait to meet you both this fall, Lord willing…
Soar, friend soar!
Thank you, ladies, for welcoming me into this space! Wisdom and play…it makes sense in a crazy, mixed up way, doesn’t it? Don’t you love how God always reveals the unexpected? And L.L. Barkat too…her book has been such a blessing.
Becky Ramsey says
So very beautiful.
Why does play join our hands to God’s? Is it because when we play, we have to free ourselves from the other things that take our attention, the things we think secure us? I’m going to think more about this. Thanks for lighting the spark!
and lift with them
all the spaces
not made light
Laurie Wallin says
I’m away at my mom’s, my kids still at home with hubby. I’ve been heavy-hearted even with the restfulness of being away… because I brought my heavy-laden heart with me. I have 4 girls, 2 special needs – and I’m wanting so much to fly again. My heart is heavy, but I’ve felt Jesus nudging me to be simple about things again. Kind of like what you were saying. And I love how you made that picture so vivid!! Blessings as you run and play in true wisdom!
Perhaps this is God calling you to play and feel that joy again. Life does get heavy at times, this is true. Sometimes going back to the simple brings the cleanest of joys. I will pray for this for you, friend.
Your words lift my heart! A beautiful play poem. I love it.
I think maybe it’s as simple as feeling His joy at witnessing ours. Just as we rejoice when those we love play well…I think so does He. Yes, He holds our hands. I love this image you give.
We will join hands a fly together when we meet face-to-face this fall. I am so looking forward to soaring with you!
I love seeing you here, Deb. Smiles all around.
Lisa, joy is profound! Have fun catching fireflies.
Bonnie, hello, my wise friend! Don’t you think play opens up our minds for the new also? I always feel freer, ready to pick something up after moments like these. Thank you for stopping by!
I hope you do get down into that play! Those fisher price days are long gone in this house and how I do miss them at times. Enjoy this time.
What a breath of fresh air there is here at (in)Courage. Beautiful.
I love the thought of the Father calling us to play. I have always prayed for wisdom. Perhaps it is not as elusive as we might think.
I look in the mirror and wonder who the aging lady is. In the mirror of my heart, I am just a young girl, and I long to fly.
Holley Gerth says
Laura, thanks for this heart reminder of what’s beautiful and true. You paint a picture with your words that draws all of us back to the One Who Loves Us. I’m a firefly catcher too…every summer still.(:
Lindsey @ A New LIfe says
I love this sweet Laura~ such a beautiful reminder to let loose the trappings of this fallen world and go back to the innocence of precious love and joy with our Father
I read those words about wisdom in God In The Yard and smiled big. It is sweet to be loved by a God like this!
Thank you, ladies! Holley, enjoy those fireflies! The heat has made ours a little shy around here, but they are still winking some.
Linda, I once heard Beth Moore say that we were created for eternity, so it is natural to yearn for our bodies to be too! But, yes, our hearts are being shaped with each passing day. That is a beautiful thing.
Lindsey and Deidra, so nice to see you here! Thank you for stopping in!
Susan DiMickele says
Just lovely! Also great to find this blog.
Thank you, Laura, for the beautiful post. In my maturity, I have sometimes, sometimes, followed the beckoning to play…and it is freeing, just like His love. I never pass up the opportunity to swing – to fly, even still. And I think we will be catching fireflies in our backyard tonight. 🙂
I, also, am tickled to have found this blog through yours, Laura.
(@Maureen – your poem is wonderful!)
Melissa May says
Ahhh… Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.
Michelle DeRusha says
I always love your words so much, Laura. It’s lovely to find you here guest blogging for (in)courage!
Tiffany Stuart says
Loved this. 🙂 I used to dream of flying as a kid. I still want to fly. And why not try to catch fireflies?
Thank you for the inspiration.
Kelly Langner Sauer says
“When I come back down, I see them looking out the window…”
what a beautiful picture. They’re going to remember you this way. oh i love it. i love it.
I really needed to read this! Thank you! I enjoy all your work! Praying that you can write full time. In God’s timing.
laura boggess says
You all are too kind. L.L.’s beautiful book is taking me to deep places. What a healing journey it has been. Thank you for letting me share that with you.
Just read your comments, Holley — not sure how nor to whom to “reply” — but thank you, Holley, for your heart — you so often hit just the right “spot” in my heart — You are very young — I am very old (over 70!) & have just this Fall lost my soul-mate — a second husband lost to heaven on November 13, 2010 — I miss him so much — just came home from my Church family meeting — sang in the choir, played piano & participated in Hand Bell Choir — all activities which are my passion with people dearly loved — & all things in which I can hear (Bob sang bass!) & “see” his commanding presence (6’6″) in the back row of Choir!! and I weep – – – – again — thank you, Holley — for giving to the Lord~ Jeannie