I’ve always made space for my day-dreams and night-dreams. I think it’s an exercise in listening more than anything else. Dreams are for mystery lovers since they are so absent of order. We wonder (as we must), how on God’s green earth did I cook up that?
At my childhood home, there was a roof I could easily climb onto from my bedroom window. An oak tree over the rooftop provided generous shade and gentle shadow. Peace was on that roof and she rested deep in the oaky light. The invitation was: “Come. Be Here. Sit.” The rooftop sat pretty right outside my window and I couldn’t look away. I remember early Saturdays before mornings were adolescent and dreadful, squeaking my window open and slipping out into early light. One leg went slowly over the window-ledge before the next. I was cautious and hesitant to crack open rooftop life. My hair was muffled but the day was new and pink light covered my girlish shoulders and crooked hair-do. I positioned myself on the shingle and poised myself for nine-year old dreams. There was a tug stronger than my own imagination, pulling from my bangs to my bare feet. It moved me from thought-dreams to day-dreams to hope-dreams to prayer-dreams to prayer to washing. The near tidal movement came from deep within and I rolled. This smooth, rinsing rush was the real thing. I don’t know that I named it at nine, but rooftop life was this: RENEWAL. So I sat, warmed by the sun with pen in hand and I wrote: pen to paper, poem to prayer. This was my experience.
Perhaps this sounds like an ideal to abandon: a child, with prayer-poems on a roof. And perhaps, that’s all my meditation on day-dreams and night-dreams and rooftop-dreams is: sugary nostalgia. However, there have been many rooftops in my life. There have been many moments of dreamy real-ness of sleepy altert-ness and of despairing peace. The loveliness is the tidal transformation and the heavy lightness of being. The oaks and the pinky light are oftentimes just extra dabs of God’s grace. Here you go. Bask for a moment or two.
At breakfast yesterday, I talked about this with Luke– my thoughts on rejuvenation and renewal and asking God for both. This past month has led us to our fair share of asking, especially as nights have been achy and sleepless. It seems, we gathered over eggs and coffee, that truest prayers do in fact come out of us, maybe like a crazy dream, when we are quiet and surrendered: “I guess those were my words?” We stumble through sleepy and contemplative speech.
As I pushed away my plate, I reflected on my most recent rooftops. Luke cleared, wiped and swept. I watched him in our kitchen. Just one year ago I stared too, but with skeptical hope: Is he for me? I remember this question and all the questions, for that matter. The frantic questions. The ones I asked God. I asked myself. The questions asked of me. The way I answered. These questions were a part of it, the figuring out and the knowing. The questions aren’t the dreamy real thing, though. The real thing is the love: the sweet love that is fresh and arabesque like deep light on a rooftop morning. Deeper still is the transformation, the together and the washing ourselves of ourselves. The discipline of prayer, openness to our Creator, begging for constant renewal, not just for me, but for Luke and for us. This moves me to perhaps, a deeper surrender than I’ve ever known. I think, (the dishes are dry now) my newest rooftop reverie, has been this: someone to sit with.
Image “Rooftop” found here