I’m at work at that time of night when crickets serenade and the sky changes from midnight blue to an endless deep pierced by stars. A noise complaint takes me from the silent lobby to the third floor, this same old she’s noisy-down-below and he’s noisy-above-my-head routine. Thin walls make for restless sleepers.
As I approach the offending apartment I’m caught by heaven. The tones from the piano start behind the door and embrace me. I can feel satin shoes on my feet, ribbons tight around my ankles and I’m dream-dancing.
I am twirling, en pointe, reaching into an arabesque. A memory fragment reached towards my fingers and touches them, taking me into the abandoned house that my brother and I walked into as children. It was across the dusty road, in between sales and open to wanderers and curious children.
Shafts of light filled the room, and I spin around the concrete floor, hoping for ballet lessons and a tutu. But most of all, I wanted those pink, satin shoes.
I’m back in the hall and the door between me and heaven’s song is heavy.
“I’m sorry ma’am. Your music is lovely but your neighbor can’t sleep. Can you lower the volume?”
She turns her gaze upward and I lift my eyes to the same spot on the ceiling. The one where you know the neighbor couldn’t feel the genius coming through; the presence of angels and that part of the song that makes an unbeliever doubt their unbelief.
I’m back in third grade, standing at the barre for my first day of ballet, wearing my black leotard and pink tights. My mom signed me up for lessons despite the pinch in the checkbook and car trips all the way into town.
The stuff of sacrifice makes for a fruitful vine.
When I dream of heaven, I am always dancing. Dancing for the One who knows that words aren’t always enough, the One who has given me many ways to find joy and express my heart – none stand up to dance.
It is my flying dream.
I felt like a trader when I asked her to turn the piano music down. I knew that, for her, down meant silence for failing ears.
I continued my dance through high school and a few years of college. I knew that with flat feet and small-town-training a career it would never be. But I got to stand, dance, in those shoes.
A dream is not just an ambition. It’s an old ladies evening song. It is a child’s ballet shoes, and grace poured down from heaven. Dance, sing, and take no offense when someone is playing their heaven song.
Auditions are held on earth every day, for your flying dream.
Do you have any stories to tell of your own dream? Realized, unrealized? Tell us in the comments.