When the Dreaming is Done

On the way to work this morning—traffic.  I sit for an hour, cradled in other commuters—the glass and space between us a million miles. Frustration is hot, like burning asphalt—I fidget with the radio and listen. A tractor trailer has caught fire…no injuries. Not yet, I think, boiling. Time hums. I play with my phone. Look at the man beside me. He doesn’t turn his eyes my way. I send an email, plug in my iPod. What in the world am I doing? I close my eyes and open them again.

The hills are still bare; the trees have only just begun to bud. I see delicate lacing of green, beginning fingers unfolding. There is redbud splashed about—the vibrant pinks like raspberries—those trees are sticking out their tongues at me.  Nanna-nanna-boo-boo, I can move, why can’t you? The morning breeze waves the branches. Further into the forest I see forsythia. The bright yellow is waning, having done the job of pronouncing spring’s arrival.

I am lost in the way the sky kisses the earth——the pinks and blues of early morning horizon. In the midst of this traffic snarl–where metal meets flesh and the hillsides witness it all—in the midst of this traffic snarl, I begin to trust God with my day. And I feel joy settle inside the walls of me, feel my heart lift to meet this sudden surprise.

Joy finds me when I forget myself. And I let myself dream.

Soon—too soon, really—traffic begins to slowly move, until we are all once again snaking toward the beat of the everyday rhythm.

when the dreaming is done
I lift my head from these
mountain-pillows–these heights
that support me, these heights
that bouy me. I lift my head.
there are mouths to feed, work
to do. I step down and wildflowers
scatter in the waking. seeds
blow up into the air and I
descend through possibility…
if only…but I–I must watch
my step, lest I miss my footing,
stumble, and fall.

Blogging with Emily today:

And Bonnie too!


  1. says

    Stepping down from “mountain pillows” and scattering “seeds [that] blow up into the air”: wonderful image, Laura.

    Oh, to follow dreams on the hard ground…

  2. says

    What a wonderful description of the morning waking and starting the day.
    My mountian pillow wake up is to sctraching birds in the raters. I think I like your description much better.

  3. says

    The redbuds laughing at you struck me. Last spring, my mom died right as everything started to bloom, and it was the most beautiful year of redbuds and wildflowers in a generation. And it was both comforting and frustrating, because she should have been there to see them.

  4. says

    Still waiting for the forsythia to unfurl the blossoms and pronounce spring’s arrival here. Not that I’m complaining or anything….

    Love this: Joy finds me when I forget myself. And I let myself dream.

    How on earth are you inspired to write poetry that originates in a traffic jam? You’ve got some mad writing skills, girl.

  5. says

    I always get lost in the beautiful writing Laura.
    I so often get lost in dreams. It is the coming down that is difficult – this living in reality. But it is good to dream.

  6. says

    Today I sat in traffic – which isn’t really traffic, here in Nebraska – and found myself surprised by my frustration. What in the world has happened to my patience? Next time I will close my eyes and open them again, and hope that I see things the way you did today. 🙂

  7. says

    i’m with darlene…nanna nanna boo boo
    it would be a good name for a diva pop singer.

    sounds like you didn’t need a traffic bag full of things to play and had good a date with joy.

    i often take a car tote, a book paper pens etc…
    but, what you did is much better.

  8. says

    You’re right: frustration is hot. I had never thought of that before.

    Thanks for visiting “crumbs” and taking time to share your thoughts. The Lord be with you and open your eyes to His beauty again today.

  9. says

    How beautiful, my dear friend!!!! The word pictures that you create show vividly in my mind as I read through your post. 😀

    Praying for you as your heart soars outside the windows you feel trapped behind…may God fill you with His joy in the midst of the bad news surrounding us. Thank you so much for your honest sharing of your journey…

    You are such an encouragement to me, dear lady!

    Building Home with Him,

    Mary Joy

  10. says

    Joy finds me when I forget myself.

    i will not forget this line. it is so perfect. and the trees sticking out their tongues, and the way the sky kissed the earth… keep telling us, beautiful laura. we’re listening. xo

  11. says

    I love that “blink” moment.

    You shift perspective from fiddling with the iPod to admiring God’s creation with the blink of an eye.

    You remind me how easy it is: Forget myself. Look out. Look up. Imagine. Dream. And then…joy.

  12. says

    I live in LA so I love, love the trees sticking their tongues out at you because they can move and you are stuck. Totally get that moment.

  13. says

    Hey Laura, I’ve been catching up on these interesting posts of yours. Hope to be back for a playdate with God soon! ” I truly did love “when the Dreaming is Done”

  14. says

    Your words are so full of beauty, and they paint such a picture as I have said before… I love the way you turn what could be a negative into a positive… the best way to live your life!

  15. says

    This happens to me. Happily. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve always been a dreamer. It’s just the way I’m made. What’s surprising to me now is that I’m realizing just how many of us there are, and I never knew it. I just thought I was odd.

  16. says

    “I step down and wildflowers
    scatter in the waking. seeds
    blow up into the air and I
    descend through possibility…”

    Amazing how you make a space for us in your poetry — a space that invites us to let God in. That’s the only way to “step down”. God, place me in your joy. Thanks for a meditative glimpse into your faith walk. So wonderful to find it in the faith jam, Laura!

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