Tuesday, August 28, 2012

House of Dreams


Some things have to be believed to be seen.   
 ~ Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine’s advice is worthwhile.  “It might be a good idea if, like the White Queen, we practiced believing six impossible things every morning before breakfast, for we are called upon to believe, what to many people, is impossible. Instead of rejoicing in this glorious ‘impossible’ which gives meaning and dignity to our lives, we try to domesticate God, to make his might actions comprehensible to our finite minds."


When I was growing up my parents took a strange child into our home, a boy with round blue eyes of wonder and blond curls soft as lily petals. One whose vocabulary did not contain the word ‘impossible.’

First of all, he’d flown 3,000 miles all by himself from Riverside California to Fremont North Carolina. Had left the city and brown smog to come live with  us on a farm with tall stalks of corn, green pastures stretching toward the horizon, pigs you can pet, wild huckleberries for the grabbing, haystacks to rest upon and, best of all, a red tractor.

And what boy doesn’t dream of riding a big red tractor every day with his “Grandpa.” That was his first dream come true, living on Green Acres. Imagine that reality coming to life for a child.   

When he turned five my parents enrolled him in school. That’s when we discovered that he had a little shadow that went in and out with him. We saw tell-tale signs of a hard-knock life from days gone by. Bed wetting became the norm.

One day the principal called my mother in for a conference. “The boy seems to have emotional problems,” he said. “He has a foul mouth.” News to us.

After delving into the matter at home my parents soon discovered abandonment issues. We learned that his mother had left him in the dark car while she worked in an after-hours nightclub (shade city). Of course he was emotionally disturbed…all those endless evenings left alone. And if someone tried to steal him, well…

Then one day his mother showed up at our home to cart Simeon away. I’ll never forget that scene. The boy clinging to my dad for dear life, sobbing his eyes out. Both my parents weeping, loud wails filling the kitchen. Sim’s mom dragging him away by force, the child who’d lived with us for the past couple of years. 

Months passed. Then one day the mail man, Buck, delivered a letter scribbled in orange pencil – clearly a child’s handwriting – addressed to:

            Grandpa
            Fremont NC

That’s it. No first name, no rural route, no zip code, no return address, just, “Grandpa, Fremont, NC.” We sat and wondered how a letter from one side of the country clear to the other could have possibly been delivered without the pertinent information. Miracle?  I’d like to think so.

Ever since then, I’ve taken Madeleine L’Engle’s advice to heart in naming six impossible things before my feel hit the hardwood floor every day. If you haven’t done so, try it. Impossible dreams don’t just have to be personal. I dream on behalf of others as well as myself.


What impossible dreams might you have?  Be bold! 

54 comments:

  1. The best advice I've ever heard ~ and your stories never cease to amaze me. It always bring me back to my childhood.

    Why six not seven? Does it even have a meaning? But I will start listing those six impossible dreams everyday. I surely will BS :*

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    1. Oh dear Melissa, name seven or eight or nine. Actually, I name eight instead of six because there are eight beads I use. Will you share with me when you decide what impossible things for which to believe? Also, forgive my typos here. I’ll change them tomorrow when I’m not this beat! xox

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  2. I agree with Melissa, the best advice! We are so blocked in our mind that we refuse the possibility of a miracle even though miracles take place all around us.. Someone very close o my heart believes that miracles are possible but I always shoot him down with practicality, telling him it is utter nonsense. Maybe I should rethink and start believing. Thank you for sharing this. Do you hear from Simeon?

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.in/2012/08/my-dreams.html

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  3. Impossible dreams? That's something to think about. In my case though, I don't think I was domesticating God. It's just that I never had full confidence in what I could accomplish. Perhaps this is why I find your advice so powerful.

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    1. Anne, impossible dreams should be pondered and practiced. How else will we see those things that aren’t as though they were? There is so much madness in the world right now. Political rancor, nuclear threats, earthquakes, Isaac… what is there to lose by dream-praying for a better world?

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  4. Madeleine's quote which you used could easily be a preface to my book. :)
    Oh, what a sad story about this beautiful little boy . . . it is a miracle that your father received that letter from him, and I pray that God continued to work miracles in this innocent child as he grew into adulthood.
    Thank you, Debra, for sharing this inspiration with us all.
    Blessings!

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    1. Martha, do you know that I thank God every day for your dream-come-true? See what I mean? Faith and dreams are one and the same, aren’t they? I do believe the letter was God’s way of showing – not telling, showing – his wonders to be had. Thank you!

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  5. I am a firm believer in believing in the impossible. I live it everyday knowing that for me to be still in existence is one of those impossible possibilities.
    Wonderful story.

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    1. Jan, I know you’ve been through the fire so, yeah, just being in existence today is a miracle. Good to hear from you again. I hope you’re well. ~ Bless you.

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  6. What a story you told, and so beautifully. It almost seemed like it wasn't real. I wonder, of course, what became of Simeon. Do you know?

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    1. Shelly, you can’t make these things up ;-) As much of an imagination as I have, this is a true account. For years I pondered this memory in my mind, and with every recollection found it almost too incredible to believe. But this is the way it happened. Simeon is still on the west coast as far as I know, but hasn’t kept in touch. Last I heard he was married to a woman named Jewel and working as a chef in northern California.

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  7. I love this line...we try to domesticate God...oh yes...I want to let Him free...to do the impossible. blessings to you~

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    1. Ro, if God can keep us dinosaurs in business, he can do anything ;-)

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  8. Debra,

    Thanks for visiting my blog...what a touching story; did you ever find out what happened to the boy? I need God's grace to ask Him what my impossible dreams are, and to trust in His provision whatever the outcome...blessings :)

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    1. Dolly, for a few years the family kept in touch with his mom. Now I think she’s passed on, and I’ve tried to contact Sim without success. The last time I spoke with his mother I learned that he was married and living near Los Osos, California.
      I’m glad I wrote the story down after all these years. Some things are worth remembering.

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  9. Great reminisces- and great story.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  10. I enjoyed the story immensely, Debra. I would like to know more about Sim. Do you still have contact with him? How has he grown to be? You know, I put my trust in Him to lead me through every dream I have. It is just because of Him that I know my dreams will come to pass.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Susan, long story about Simeon... I have this written in a more detailed version of our connection with him, of how he came to stay with us, of how my parents tried to adopt him. Years later he did come back to stay with us again… it’s complicated, but the gist of this post is the letter miracle. Someday I’ll determine where to send the full story. All this encouragement makes me want to go for it! Thank you!

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  11. This piece of the story definitely makes me want to know more. That truly is a miracle that the letter made it to you! For me, the seemingly impossible dream right now has to do with love. I'm keeping the specifics secret, but I've got a big dream which I wish for every day when I awake. Perhaps today is the day it will come true. You never know. :) xo

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    1. Rachel, keep it up. Everyday keep your dream alive. Yes or no; would this have anything to do with marriage? This ain’t a birthday candle, you know, where, if you tell the wish it might not come true ;-)

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  12. WOW, it makes you want to know more, explore more. What happened to the boy?

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  13. Good question Ana. All I know is he went back to live with his mother, who did keep in touch via phone and letters. I believe she’s passed on now though, but I hope he’s ok.

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  14. Hi Debra, the butterfly painting was sold a couple days ago :( I will make sure to put some of my work more readily available on the blog :) Be safe and enjoy the weekend.

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    1. Thank you Ana. Have a wonderful weekend. xox

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  15. Wow Debra, I wonder what became of little Simeon? Poor soul. I like to believe that the time spent with a loving family equipped him for the rest of his journey. That was an amazing story, and yes; I'm a believer in the impossible.

    My dream is for my life to be used to encourage others—my writing to reach the many souls who wait for my words. I work on this dream daily, but the magic comes from a higher place...a place where little boys can address an envelope to Grampa, in Fremont NC, and know that it will reach him.

    I loved this post.

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    1. Leah, looks like your dream has come true about encouraging others. You were born to write and bless with your words. Keep living your dream! Have a wonderful weekend mon ami!

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  16. my impossible dream is that i want to fly with my own wings freely.lovely post missed you so much<3

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    1. Zarnab, you will. Trust, believe. You will fly on your own two wings, I know it.
      I miss you too. <3<3<3

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  17. Debra, to dream is awfully close to "to pray". Dreaming has been difficult lately – praying saved the day – and I am trying to DO the impossible. I will take you and Madeleine up on your advice – I've heard it before – but not from you. Thank you. Your words always mean a lot to me. And thank you for supporting me through a truly difficult time by stopping by. God bless and keep you and make his face shine upon you.

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    1. Craig, dream-prayers, that’s what they are. I’m taking Madeleine’s advice too, everyday. At the moment I’m going through a difficult time, so I’d appreciate your prayers. Just lost my beloved dog of 14 years. Rip died on Saturday. The Lord bless you and keep you, and make his face to shine upon you. Check you later.

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  18. Oh what an inspiring story, Debra! :-) Would you believe me when I tell you that I still dream that someday there will be world peace? I pray for it every single day. And I do my best to start it with myself, by doing my best to stay positive. The world is already so full of negativity that I strongly feel I should no longer add to it. A lot of people said world peace was impossible. But I can dream, right?

    Learning from Simeon is a blessing. It's just sad that he had to experience the world's cruelty at such a young age. Thank you for sharing his story, a message of hope, Debra! <3 :-)

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    1. Irene, yes, I believe you! If anything is an impossible dream, world peace certainly is. Your words remind me of the song,
      Let there be peace on earth
      And let it begin with me.
      Let there be peace on earth
      The peace that was meant to be…
      Thank you, dear Irene, for your sweet condolences on my FB wall. I miss that boy.

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  19. Dear Debra,

    The quote about six impossible things b-4 breakfast is one of my all time faves! In fact, I chose it as my very favorite quote for my Facebook profile because I believe it truly speaks to who I am for new friends who want to get to know me.

    It's becoming more and more challenging to come up with 'impossible dreams' because I don't believe in impossible -- although, that letter arriving for Grandpa in Freemont, NC challenges even MY belief system. Thank you for that!!

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    1. Linda, that quote is SO you! Such a visionary and believer. That’s your niche, helping others envision their dreams. Impossibilities? Not you.
      I swear to you, that is a TRUE story. Someone said, “It almost doesn’t seem real.” But it’s real alright. My family talked about it for years. An unforgettable moment in time. XOX

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  20. wow I was deeply affected by the story in this. My impossible dream is that all kids all over the world have a healthy and happy childhood

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    1. Jerly, I’m with you girl! Let’s dream BIG. I want all children to enjoy childhood, period. For so many are robbed of a childhood, forced to grow up too soon. Hug!

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  21. Debra, as always, you stir our hearts, our minds, and our souls with your words. You make us think--hard--and remind us of the importance of things like dreaming. I can't begin to think of what my life would be like if I didn't dream! As you know, I'm known to escape to my alternate reality every now and then. I find it not only stirs my creative juices, but also allows me to escape from the mundane and ordinary. It's like entering the land of extraordinary and leaving it that much happier and wiser. I hope and pray everything worked out for Sim. I'm glad that he had a few good years with your family. Hugs to you, lady! I've been away to Spain but I'm back and quite happy to read your lovely words again! :)

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    1. Bella, welcome back. *arms stretched wide… HUG* I have thought of you often and wondered how you and sweet thing are doing. I knew you were in Spain, but weren’t sure when you’d be back. So I’ll check you and Roxy later. Dreams keep the fire going. Without them I’d be a heap of cold ashes. Or at best mere smoldering embers. But dreams and faith are intertwined, so if you’re going to dream, go ahead and believe for the impossible. That’s what I say. That’s what Sim taught me.

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  22. I am probably the one here who isn't familiar with the quote and for that I am hanging my head in same. It's beautiful. Something for me to write down and etch into the backs of my retinas. I think sometimes a good percentage of my life has been impossible - not in a bad way that I am crying boohoo and wishing for another life--quite the opposite, really. I've had some extraordinary experiences, which have some times cracked me wide open, and other times sent me soaring around the globe. I would have never believed a Latina from So Cal would had the chances or experiences and if you had told me beforehand I would have laughed a hearty laugh. I had to see it to believe it, and then I had too look into the mirror to ensure it was my eyes looking back at me. As for your story - heart wrenching. Debra, you always find the magic in a story an weave in something for us readers to ponder on long after we've visited your site. Love that about you, woman.

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    1. Brenda, it’s good to look back and see all the blessings of life. Look back to see where you came from and where it led you, retrace your steps and see with new eyes all the small miracles that you might not have seen back then. Think about it, if you had not glanced backward you might not have seen Mrs. Lopez. And if you hadn’t seen that old teacher, you may never have realized how bold you were to follow your call and live with no regrets. XOX

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  23. The quote is beautiful. I was glad to read, above, that Simeon is married and is a chef. I hope he, somehow, rose above his circumstance. The letter addressed to Grampa with so little information is so poignant, as is your tender writing. I can relate to the story on some level, in a sort of reverse way. I'm finding that meditation is re-opening a mind that has grown very skeptical.

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    1. Thank you Terri. I hope that Simeon rose above his circumstances. On meditation… I find that it not only opens the mind but the heart. I’ve been meaning to get back with you on the mystical musing from a recent post of yours. I hope to get over there and comment; it was SO powerful. My first thought was the word ‘ineffable.’ Mystical experiences like that are beyond description because how can you convey such a sublime moment in words? But what a fine job you did! Check you later.

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  24. Thank you for sharing Simeon's story with us and the greater lesson of his life. I am blessed to have read about him and what you learned through him. God Bless, Elizabeth.

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth; my pleasure to share Sim’s story. Have a wonderful weekend! Hugs.

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  25. WOW! What great advice, I do this but maybe not 6 a day. haha I do believe in MIRACLES. This is a beautiful, yet heartbreaking story. This poor child, having to go through all of this and then becoming attached, just to be pulled away again. Thank you for sharing Simeon's story and this wonderful miracle.

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    1. You could go for six a day Lisa. Try it, it works! Farfetched to some, I know, but it works if you keep believing. Of course you know this well. Hugs!

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  26. You were one of my followers on my old blog, Honeysuckle Cottage, and I just wanted you to know that I've moved to:

    http://hangingoutinthesunflowerpatch.blogspot.com/

    Have a great week! ~Amber

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    1. Thank you Amber. I'll try to swing by your new place.

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  27. What a wonderful story. I suspect we all have impossible things that happen but we don't tune in to them. We write them off as chance or luck when changing our perception could change our approach to other "impossible things" Challenging post. thanks,

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    1. We don't live in a world that believes the impossible, so it's up to us bring about a paradigm shift, one believer at a time.

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  28. thank you for this...my feet are on the floor this morning...miracle number one ! Now I will believe for the other five.
    a lovely and powerful story!

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    1. Somedays I feel like getting out of bed is a miracle!

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