Monday, October 31, 2011

The Promise of What Lies Ahead

You know how a song can take you back to a specific time and place in the past?  Or maybe it's a moment, like when you feel the first sun-filled breeze of spring, that places you into a memory--a memory so vivid in your mind and so familiar to your body, that if you close your eyes, you feel like you have gone back in time.
The beauty of Ireland... a few photos from my 2007 trip
But what about the future?  It's not as clear as a memory (well, some experiences aren't remembered exactly as they occurred anyway)... but what about the feeling you get when thinking of the future?  The anticipation, the anxiety, the excitement, the hope, the contentment in knowing everything will happen as it should.


Just as something can take me to the past, there are those rare moments when a sound, smell, taste... a feeling can take me to the future.  I don't know the setting or the characters--or even the exact plot--but I sense the joy of being right where I'm supposed to be.  It's that full, happy feeling like my heart is going to burst.

It's like a premonition, a foreshadowing.  It's like experiencing a dream that feels so real, that upon waking, you have to reassure yourself or check in with someone to confirm it is not.  (As a side note: my personal occasionally-reoccurring nightmare is of tornadoes... I am from Kansas and grew up with the Wizard of Oz and tornado drills, but I've also heard tornadoes symbolize emotions, stress or upcoming changes in life... exciting and scary at the same time.)

I think part of this reflection comes from the fact that my birthday is on Sunday and that we are nearing the holiday season, which for me is full of family and tradition and the possibilities presented in the new year.  It's amazing to see what has been accomplished in a year's time, in a lifetime, but it's also fascinating to look forward.  Where will I be in a year?  Five years?  Twenty years?

Even if I don't know exactly what the future holds, I revel in the promise of what lies ahead.  For now, I can dream all I want--and maybe the future that I glimpse through those fleeting feelings of hope and contentment will someday come true, will someday surround me in the reality of my present.


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