This is one of my favorite childhood memories.
I am working on writing about the things of my past. I want to learn from the things that happened to me and to remember the good times and not only the rough ones.
I make a perch for myself high enough up that the branches sway beneath my weight. I imagine myself far away, somewhere, anywhere else. A deserted island with fruit trees in abundace and a new best friend to share it with me; a stream in the forest that whispers and sings as it continues on it's journey. I laugh and splash in the waters of my imagination. My favorite dreams always involve speaking to animals and flying. In my dreams, I am leaving everything and everyone behind. I see all the other children at school feeling envy for me and for my "special" abilities.
I am a lonely child usually, with very few that I can call my friends. But my imagination is a big, huge world, filled with wonders and all the friends that I could wish for. I pull the book out of my pocket and make myself comfortable by wedging deeper into the branches. With my feet wrapped around the branch and my back against the trunck, I start to read. Lost in the world of the author's imagination. Lost from my own life and struggles. Deep within the comforts of my imagination I become the hero or heroine. I am Tom Sawyer, Huckelberry Finn and Becky. I am Heidi in the Swiss Alps. I am Billy from Where the Red Fern Grows. I am Travis from Old Yeller. I am even Meg or Charles Wallace from my favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time.
The day passes, the breeze stills, and all too soon it is time to leave my comfortable, imaginary world and climb down this wonderful tree. Down to earth, down to reality, down to dinner. I leave it reluctantly, but with the assurance that my place of refuge is there for me to use again. Welcoming me home, like a long lost friend.
I have learned throughout my life that I am still happiest if I have a place to escape every once in a while. A place that is close to nature. A place that is quiet and serene. I love to go out into the forest along a creek and sit and listen to the water flowing over the rocks and the birds chirping in the trees. There is just something in me that craves the peace that nature brings. I find that I still need a place of refuge. A place to call my own. A place in which I can hope and dream and imagine, but most of all, a place that I can feel free to talk with my Heavenly Father in. It is a time for me to share with Him my hopes and dreams.
Today, I don't read quite the same books as that young girl did. Today, I have found new friends within the pages of my old, worn Scriptures. They have become like old friends to me.
I have found many heroes and heroines, wars and rumors of wars, weath and poverty, sickness and pain, health and strength. They are all waiting to be studied within the wonderful pages of these books. Records of the way life used to be. Of the mistakes and the obedience of men.
Today I seek to have the faith of Abraham, the strength of Rachel, the love of Ruth, the obedience of Naaman. I seek to learn more of the prophets and the saints. I seek to know those who have gone before; to take their lessons into my heart and learn from them. Today, I seek to follow the path of a loving Savior whose grace has given me everything. Today, I yearn to follow Him. Today, I yearn to feel His Spirit in my life and in my heart. I yearn, that when the time comes, and I have done all that I have been commanded to do, He will welcome me home like a long lost friend.
We live in the present,
We dream of the future,
But we learn eternal truths
From the past.