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A Walk to Beautiful & Buried Dreams

October 12, 2014

I sit here tonight listening to the rain come down. It’s done so pretty steady for several hours. As I listen to some music, a couple hours after finishing a book, “Walk to Beautiful“, it’s with a mixed of emotion. Thankfulness, empathy, sympathy, loss. What might have been.

StarsWAWhat probably won’t be. Thirty years ago there was a student I had in Washington who came to learn to ride horses. He learned confidence. I learned more. He’d been through horrific things that I won’t repeat here. He went from a shy withdrawn kid to anything but. And it was after most of it was over that I learned what he’d overcome. I was in awe. How someone could treat another person that way, and what it took to overcome it. And if in some small way working with a horse made that easier – sign me up to do it some more. In. Awe.

Much as now in the wake of reading this book. Still waters run deep. After that time so long ago, with two good lesson horses, I wanted to set up a spot to reach out to troubled kids. Not the Vision Quest kind of intervention, but a way to reach kids before they get in trouble. To give them confidence at doing something well. Then life got broadsided. Sierra was hit by a car and had to be put down. Stars was hit by lightning. Divorce. Bitterness. Outside the family interference. Loss. It slipped away – no way for it to become reality without support, a place and multiple strikes.

Then came the bigger changes. I never imagined life as it is. The last 7 years or so trying to get this venture going has been both encouraging and discouraging. Through the low times “It’s Not Where You’ve Been” got to be sort of a mantra theme song. Lately it’s approached a breaking point and some realization that usually those who say “if I can help…” don’t mean it. For whatever reason it’s great when it’s one way but not the other. Cue the song in my head. One more day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStepping back a bit, seeing a Jimmy Wayne show has been jinxed. Every time he’s in range something happens to prevent going. The last few years transportation has been an issue. But before then I saw one shortened show – CMA Fest, Nashville, and a bonus to get to see him along with several others on the Riverfront stage – the file it’s in says 2008 and it’s been that long trying to see a full show. Maybe someday. I watched the Tweets on his walk, but the book fills in a lot of blanks.

It brings up thankfulness that as imperfect and flawed as my family is I never had to deal with the things he did.

It brings up memories of living in a truck, looking for a safe place to park and sleep, Gael protecting me while I slept, occasionally being waken and told to move on. There’s much I don’t talk about – buried and driving things but not dwelled on. The Vineyard saved me.

Anyone who has ever thought they don’t count, read this book. Think one person doesn’t make a difference? Read this book? Think someone is hopeless? Read this book. Think life won’t change? Yep…read this book.

There’s times on the other end of it now things have been tight financially. It’s blocked doing a lot of things with Connor, and so much he’s missed that can’t be made up. Guilt – yep. But encouragement. The lessons to work – check. There’s been meals, though not much of ’em some days.

As it gets closer to Christmas, the last few have been pretty meager as far as gifts here. A sense of humor and humility has been important. I know many look down at us, judge us…and it’s true that until you walk with someone you really don’t know what they’ve been through.

As it gets closer to the Christmas season and all that it holds, read this book. When I’ve signed off of Twitter and say ‘Make a difference for someone’ many think they can’t. Read this. Every community – EVERY COMMUNITY – has someone you can help. As it approaches the Christmas shopping season the latest trinkets will be put on lists. Put this book on the reading pile before then and challenge yourself, your family, your church, your community to make a difference. Many won’t ask for help. Some do, or are, and are cast off. Find a family to help with a hand up.

Make a difference for someone. One person can make a difference. There are kids with nowhere to turn. And I don’t want to think about where that might have led. A lot of emotion in the wake of a good read.

Pick it up – read it. Make a difference for someone.


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