The Tigers, the Guitar
Player and the Dream
Its 2006 Day One.
2005, for me, was one of those best of years and worst of years,
but I think Ive come to terms with the contradictions. Ive
found that its possible to laugh during times of grief,
and to grieve at the happiest moments. Acknowledging and accepting
the ambiguity seems to be key.
Im writing this newsletter on a clear blue New Years
morning at my home in Sedona, Arizona. It certainly felt strange
last night not to be part of the December 31st cold and craziness
in New Jersey/New York, but novelty is good for me. Im much
too much a creature of habit.
My kids were out here with us for a few days after Christmas,
and one morning we decided to visit a wild animal park nearby
that was opened last July. At the admissions gate, we discovered
that a new exhibit had just been granted permission to open to
the public Playing with Tiger Cubs and that even
though reservations were required, a group had cancelled just
before we arrived.
My daughter Lauren was stunned. One of her dreams has always
been to be able to play with tiger cubs, but that wish was for
sometime in the future. And now, suddenly, we were
in an enclosure with the parks owners and tiger keepers,
and we had 15 minutes in which to share that dream-come-true with
The cubs, two females (Harmony and Harvest), were four months
old and weighed about 40 lbs. I love kittens, but here we were
with two kittens romping about in the bodies of bulldogs. Their
paws were enormous and I was completely awed by the length and
thickness of their tails. We were instructed in the proper way
to interact with them and how to read their moods
through their eyes.
As my son AJ said, it was awesome, but I think my greatest delight
came from watching Laurens face as she ran her hands through
the tigers fur. Have you ever observed someone living out
their dream? Happily, we have it captured on film.
That evening, we all went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant
with a couple we recently met. Roy and I had been at that same
restaurant in November, and had heard a mesmerizing Flamenco guitar
player. One of the nicest things about Sedona is that so many
artists of every type are drawn here and there is never a shortage
of wonderful music and artistic display. However, I felt especially
attracted to this players music and bought his CD on the
The CD, entitled Sedona Sun, was beautifully produced,
and I was curious to see his website. I liked what I read, and
emailed him, asking permission to recommend his site from my own.
To my surprise, he wrote me back right away, thanking me graciously,
and suggesting that we get together the next time we were in Sedona.
So thats how the four of us, plus Greg the guitar player
and his wife, Nancy, came to be at dinner together. We had a marvelous
time, and went back to our house, where Greg entertained us with
selections from Sedona Sun. And I had my own dream-come-true moment.
Listening to talented musicians in my own home, surrounded by
friends and family, has been an unspoken dream of mine for years.
Its taken a long time to manifest, but the power and joy
was every bit as great as I had anticipated. Nothing gives me
more pleasure than bringing special people together and watching
The movie Field of Dreams was on TV the other night,
and it reminded me that although some dreams may have to be deferred,
others can come about so unexpectedly that they may not seem real.
Whats important is to allow the dreams to form, and then
give them the opportunity to manifest without assigning conditions
or holding to expectations. It can be hard to imagine how, where
and when they will play out but chances are very good that they
will, and in the most surprising ways.
This year, make sure that you take time to acknowledge your dreams,
and the dreams of those who are close to you. And may 2006 see
your most cherished ones come true.
No person has the right to rain on your dreams.
-- Marian Wright Edelman