“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can play together all night.”
— Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes
As I finished cleaning out my parents house, I stopped for a moment to look at the street in front of our house. Taft Street.
It’s just a normal street, made from limestone-laden concrete. Section lines criss cross the surface, forming a grid pattern. Grass grows in the cracks. The street lights turn on at dusk and go out at dawn. When the wind blows, the leaves swirl. When the rain falls, water runs along the curbs and into the drains. When the snow piles up, the plow clears it. It is just a quiet street.
But to a group of boys, many years ago, it was more than just a street. It was our street of dreams.
On that white concrete, we would toss around all manner of balls, generally avoiding the neighbors’ windows. We chased each other, tried to make the longest skid mark with our bikes, and told wild stories. We’d do dumb things, smart things, get in fights, argue, apologize, laugh a lot, and stay out until our parents yelled for us. It was a time for walks, talks, and dreams.
The dreams were the dreams of youth. Dates with girls with whom we stood no chance; being the big shot on the basketball team; or getting a driver’s license. They were dreams of going places and seeing the world, high school and college, adventure and excitement.
I’m sure everybody remembers their own teenage hangout. The spot where friends would gather to chat about life. It was a place where you felt safe to talk about boys and girls, friends, sports, school, teachers, siblings, the past, and of things yet to come. That little nook in the world where time was made for friends, and friends made room for time. Time for each other.
Today, when we hear “Street Of Dreams”, we think of big fancy houses with every amenity known to man, or at least to men with very large bank balances. Those kinds of dream streets are fun and have their place. I enjoy walking through those enormous homes from time to time, as well.
But those aren’t my dreams.
My Street Of Dreams will always be that little section of Taft Street where the leaves swirled, the rain puddled, the snow piled up, and a few young kids gathered everyday to play, talk, …
… and dream.
Yesterdays’ gift of time … Finished the last bit of cleaning up at the now-empty home of my parents … Also, my daughter Tessa wants me to add that I drove the van home from the airport in the rain so Mommy didn’t have to. … It’s good to be home again.