Friday, March 2, 2007

It was going to be called the "Party Barge." I remember it now. It was a huge, square pontoon boat, painted white with cracking red trim. There was a large paddlewheel in the back and even a second story roof to climb on and jump off of. It was a beauty and the five of us really wanted to buy it.

When we walked upon the relic all of us saw the potential; we were all captured by the same, sudden dream. You see, it was early high school and we were all on the verge of getting our license. We were starting to dream about what we would do once we had our "freedom." We wanted to capture the summer like they seem to do so well in the movies. We wanted the fun to never end, and we thought if we owned the Party Barge together, as a group, we could have fun whenever we wanted out on the river. Of course, we didn't think through the fact that none of us owned a truck that could pull the thing, or no one had enough room to store it. But that wasn't the point. The point was that it was a dream and we all were on board.

We got the guts to call the number on the "For Sale" sign. The owner came down to the used car lot where the boat was parked and sized up the five teens in front of him. We told him we were really interested and just needed to get the money together. We climbed up into the boat and began dreaming. We brainstormed where the stools, tables, and couches would go. We saw where the stereo and karaoke machine would sit. We even figured out where to attach the diving board and water slide on the roof. We thanked the owner, told him we'd call him, and continued our journey to the park. That was the last I would see of the Party Barge... or so I thought.

I was driving to work recently when I drove by some old farm house. Something caught my eye and I couldn't believe it, it was the Party Barge. Three miles away and ten years later, I was faced with a dream that never came to pass. I didn't stop that and haven't driven by since, but seeing that boat has stuck with me longer than I thought it would.

Seeing that boat sitting there--just as dilapidated as it was before--made me wonder where our dream had gone. Why did that dream simply slip away? What happens to dreams like this and why do they tend to fade? What dreams do I have now that I will reflect on in a decade and say, "Whatever happened to that?" And what I am I doing now to redeem those dreams?

Many times when I am reminded of a dream, a goal, a leading that I once had, I often feel it's too late to take hold of that dream again. Even if time has passed, and the dream has moved from the lot to the farm, and some mold has grown and the glass is broken, who is to say that the dream can't be bought and reclaimed?

May you redeem your past dreams and guard the dreams you currently hold.

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