Friday, November 24, 2023

Living in a Dream

I am not showing you my food. This is not one of those Instagram moments where I show you my bougie food. It is bougie food and I am showing it to you but, I’m not. I promise.

Did you ever step inside someone’s dream? This is what separates (usually) a local spot from a chain restaurant. Look at that food! And I ordered a salad! And it was delicious. Those “flowers” are slices of radish!

At most chain restaurants, you can feel the corporate discussions and decisions about decor, menu, pricing. At a local spot, like Lucille’s here in Modesto, you don’t feel that. Of course, they want to make money. But you just know when your dining experience is a labor of love. The shop is named after the owner’s grandmother and you can feel the honor in every corner, place setting and bite. It’s worth the little extra you pay.

Have you noticed that our family really loves going to Disneyland? Both Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm here in California are places of profound inspiration for us (ok, Knott’s is more for me…built by another dreamer named Walter.) Now, the corporate side of Disney, I could do without. There’s good and bad in every organization and I’m not interested in getting into any discussions about that. But when you step through those gates, there’s something undeniable. You’ve stepped into someone’s dream.

Now, think of the last time you took a walk through the woods or sat beside some quiet water or noisy water for that matter. Think of the smell of a tomato plant or a crackling fire or mountain air. Who’s dream are you inside of then? 

In all that’s good and perfect, in turning and in rest, in quietness and trust, there is a dream being realized, a longing fulfilled, a tree of life. And, beautifully, with these kinds of gifts, the joy is compounded when we share them with others. That is the true dream…a garden, a walk in the cool of the evening, vulnerability, abundance, intimacy, refreshing, good work and peace.

Not long ago, I was a part of a community concert. Our friends put together a family band to put on a fundraiser to help get their son to his dream, a mission training school in Ireland. I sang a goofy song and played guitar for another but as I did, I could feel that I was inside a dream, mainly my friend’s dream to play music with his sons and friends. When friends play music together, dance together, create together, joy is compounded. A lot was raised to get our friend to his goal, but the money was almost an afterthought. 

We are being called back to live inside the Dream. Not buying and selling but giving and receiving. Where costly gifts and free sacrifice compound joy and welcomes others in.

Let’s step inside it, let’s live inside it, let’s take it out to forgetful and forgotten places. 

By the way, I never once had this thought unwrapping a McDouble. That salad was really good!

Tilden Park's Redwood Valley Railway and Golden Gate Live Steamers!