Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Don't Let them Dance on Your Dreams

Yesterday, I packed away a little New Testament my mother gave me. It's now on the mantle at the new house we'll move into as you read this. (Anyone who knows me, knows I despaired of God giving me back my own house. I also thought I would never remarry, get a book published or make a living from writing. In turn, each gloomy prediction has proven wrong.)

One of my forebears, probably Granddad or Great-Granddad Boyle, turned down two pages in that little testament that came to us from the Bible Society of Upper Canada in 1896. One page is turned down to Revelation. Another is turned to a chapter in the book of Hebrews. The chapter promises God will never foresake the children of a good man (or woman).

Despite the fact that several of my great-great-great grandparents are buried in Canada, I watched Susan Boyle's Britain's Got Talent performance on YouTube, with a sort of clanish pride. So did my cousins. I doubt Susan is related to us. (We come from a long line of Protestants.) But, somewhere along the line, my Loyal British forebears picked up the same ability to defy convention and dream audacious dreams.

Susan's cheeky optimism and self assurance protected her from the caustic assessments of judges and bad mannered audience members. Without them, she may have walked of the stage without proving them wrong. Without them her life would be far less joyful.

That silly dance, irrepressible grin and quick wit mimic my mother's antics. (Not to mention those of her siblings.) Many times her goofy jokes made the teenage me cringe. These days, she wants to grow up to be 'The Old Woman who Wears Purple."

Then there was Susan's very direct comment when her age, 47, was brought up: "And that is just one side of me," she said, wagging her head for emphasis. That isn't a far cry from what my mother told provincial bureaucrats who interviewed her for a job after she graduated from university at age 50.

Can't remember if it was her age or her gender that was brought up. Her reply though is clear. "Is that a problem for you?" Apparently it was: She didn't get that job; she got a better one.

God guides us to our dreams. Don't let anyone trounce on yours.

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