Monday, December 7, 2009

Putting It All Together – Part 4 Passports and Puffins on the Pagus

In case you haven’t realized it yet, dreams are big deal to us at Pagus. My dream, your dream, and the dreams we get to dream together.

Several years ago, I was trying to find just the right Christmas gift for Nathan. Now we grew up in a family where getting gifts usually meant buying something practical or needed for a person, and I tended to follow that rule. After all, can a person really ever have too many socks or too much underwear?

This year, however, was different. I kept thinking I needed to by him a leather passport cover. I tried to talk myself out of it. It seemed like such a frivolous waste of money when we were both struggling to get by, but nothing else seemed to be the right thing. As I drove to Tulsa to fight the holiday crowds, I kept thinking how foolish I was being wasting a whole day to get a cover for a passport he did not have, for a trip he would not be able to take anytime soon. It was really beginning to bother me that something in me refused to yield the idea to commonsense.

I kept asking myself why it was so important for me to get him something so pointless, so worthless to our present reality. Somewhere on that drive I found the answer. I won’t say that God spoke to me, there were no burning bushes, clouds did not part, no audible voice shook the world, but it was like all the little pieces of
everything I knew fell into place.

That year had been really tough on us. If I remember correctly we had both lost romantic relationships, and were feeling rather lonely. We were both wondering if we had made the correct decisions – he was living far from home and I was single mom working her way through school. Money was almost nonexistent, and we just wanted something to make sense. The dreams were becoming obscured by reality.

Sometime about then we had begun to learn more about our family history, and became intrigued by our Irish ancestry. It seemed the more we learned about this people and land the more we understood ourselves. Many of the books we read would describe a particularly Irish trait and we would call each other and say “You know that thing you do. . . Well, this book says this about that.” The more we learned the more we wanted to go and see this place. We would talk about the day when we could go check out this pub, that castle or monastery, or the island where the puffins gather. And who can resist puffins? Really? They are like little cartoon characters God decided to bring to life just to make me smile.

But back to Nathan’s Christmas present. I realized that this year I wasn’t just buying him something everyone else thought he needed. I was buying him something I knew he needed. He needed to know that his dreams were important. He needed to know that someone else saw the value of his desire to go and see this land. Not because it practical in the conventional sense of the word, but because it is necessary in the truest sense of the word. And I do not know if I actually mean that the trip is necessary or if the gift is necessary.

Let me explain.

The truth is Nathan may never make it to Ireland, but that’s not the point. The point is we need someone to see our dreams and value them with us. We need people by our side who say I will make your dreams a priority to me. And we need to invest in the dreams of those we love, because our dreams are the truest part of who we are. They reveal our hearts and souls as nothing else can.

As Pagus had grown beyond just me and Nathan, we have found a group of people who believe in our dreams, who have chosen to value our vision. Some have chosen to walk with us because they believe in what we are doing. Others simply because they love Nathan and me. There are a few who have joined us because we have believed and invested in their dreams. And I believe it is safe to say, that for most of those who are now a part of Pagus it is a combination of all these factors.

We could not do without their help. We have people who work on the website, take photographs, check my layouts for typo’s, donate studio time, offer their homes for meetings, prepare meals for our gatherings, pass out fliers, make phone calls, do research, and listen to me rant. People whose talents fill in the gaps in ours, people who are more practically minded and keep us on track. I have one friend who randomly texts me good ideas for marketing – got to love that. Another one who gives me lime and chili almonds because she knows I will forget to eat, and still another who watches my kids so I have time to put things together.

And it is more than all the work we do or the things we give, we have begun to dream together. We have found the pieces of ourselves that might have been lost if someone else had not said this part of you is valuable and worthy of my investment. There is power in that, something indescribably freeing, and of infinite value. My dream does not work if theirs fail and something in their dreams will be lacking if I get left behind. We all need this.

It is not enough to dream in the dark. We have to expose them to light of day if they are ever to take a form. Find your team, find people who can value what you do, who you are, and people who you can trust with something as delicate and valuable as this piece of yourself. They are the ones who help you make it happen, and you do your best to make it happen for them. You will be surprised at how far you can go.

No comments: