© Jeanne E Webster
I am a perpetual dreamer. As a little girl, I believed in the little stories I read, the songs I sang, and the few movies I saw. I could vanish for a whole day in the words of Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah:
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
“Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s actual
Ev’rything is satisfactual
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day, yes sir!”
~ Ray Gilbert
And rematerialize with that bluebird on my shoulder. Every word etched its meaning into my spirit, and the sunshine did head my way. It’s the truth…it’s actual.
Being little was the grandest time of life. As little people we accepted things with simplicity and an “anything goes” attitude. If we could imagine it, then “it” was real. Do you remember playing cops and robbers? Cowboys and Indians? (I must interject here that I was a tomboy!) You could be Tonto or the Lone Ranger; you became Dick Tracy til you went to bed and woke up to a new identity. Or you became Silver and could run faster than any other horse. You even knew where to find the best sour grass in the whole world, that secret place out behind Grandpa’s barn.
I think my favorite hero to play was Superman. There was this special field near my house that had a long narrow lay of the land, with a slight dip in the middle of it, perfect for lift-off. I’d start at one end of it and run for all it was worth til I reached the middle. There I would jump into the air, arms outstretched and nose to the clouds, believing with all my stubby legs that I was IN THE AIR…only to set down a few seconds later on the dusty dry ground. But I kept trying and trying…and trying. Oh, what fun, acting as these imaginary people.
One song especially affected my young life: Somewhere over the Rainbow.
When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane
When all the clouds darken up the skyway,
There’s a rainbow highway to be found
Leading from your window pane
To a place behind the sun,
Just a step beyond the rain
Somewhere over the rainbow
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can’t I?
I sang that song with my heart, thinking that if I truly believed, I could fly over that rainbow with those bluebirds. With childlike faith I DID fly over the rainbow. It launched me into an imagined escape from the very troubled world in which I actually lived, an escape I desperately needed.
I still dream…every time I read a book, a poem, watch a movie, attend a play, hear Handel’s Messiah at Christmas time, and more. Heaven does open, like the song trilled, to a place beyond the sun, just a step beyond the rain…to a whole new world that God calls heaven. The Bible states that a heavenly home waits for everyone that has drawn their life on the account of Jesus Christ. And it’s not a dream. It is reality. It’s signed, sealed and delivered…waiting for the nod of your head, the creaking open of the door to your heart, the throwing down of the ultimate freewill of one’s soul. “Yes, Lord, I am yours.”