Airstream Almanac – vol. 1: Aug. 15, 2017. “A Safe Place to Dream”
We wish you were literally with us yesterday – instead of just being virtually connected by this screen that we share like big chairs on a front porch.
Yesterday we hooked up Freedom, our Airstream, for her maiden voyage on the road. It was like putting a newborn baby in a carseat for the first time as new parents.
We adjusted the plugs and pins and connections on our about 80 pound beast of a trailer hitch about 47 times – and that was just in the heat and humidity of deep south Magnolia, Texas.
When “The Plow” (the name of our truck!) pulled Freedom into her new stall in Fredericksburg, Texas – it was like the carseat had become permanently attached.
We confused the ordering of raising and lowering and leveling and chalk blocking and plugging and unplugging enough times to either make you cry or laugh. We did both.
It was pure joy.
We define joy as “it’s good to be me here with you.” It is. When we laugh – and when we cry.
The four or five hour drive between the carseat wrestling matches was a mix of road construction maneuvering and deep sighs at the first signs of the Texas hill country.
Freedom is our full time home – we bought her to live in. And we bought her as a dream manger.
Fredericksburg, Texas. Doug says I can claim it as my “home town.” He says it’s where I grew up.
That’s funny because I moved to Fredericksburg when I was 45 years old. I had moved more than 40 times in those first 45 years; we’ve moved ten times in the last ten.
Maybe living in an Airstream isn’t such a crazy idea after all.
I let love touch me here – for maybe the first time; many days God loves me with pure, raw beauty.
Now this small hill country town again offers us a safe place – to risk far enough to dream.
Dreams require safe places.
Safe places are not free from danger; safe places are free from intimate danger.
The big world – the world where dreams offer fresh air and real hope – is not free from danger. Dreams get eaten in the big world for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So dreams require intimate community; intimacy offers half eaten dreams a place to recover.
We think the family table can be a dream manger; we believe something special can be born – and grow strong enough to survive – breathing safe air “At the Table.”
Maybe it’s not a coincidence our maiden voyage in Freedom began just a few days after the white supremacy protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our United States is deeply divided…again.
A line has been drawn; who needs a stone? We’ll just use our keyboards.
We all learned a long time ago that the school yard chant, “…but words will never hurt me” was a lie. Most of our words are ammo in an automatic weapon.
So our dream seems too simple.
Our WHY (as Simon Sinek calls it) is almost a nostalgic gamble.
We’re driving around the once United States of America with an idea to sit at the table again – and use words for purposes other than weapons.
Two hundred and forty-one years ago, the dream that grew into America fought for it’s literal life in the big world – and grew strong enough survive in intimate communities.
Dreamers found each other and offered fresh air. They didn’t always agree – in fact, they rarely did. And they kept talking…and listening.
And they fought to establish a home that would always be a safe place to dream.
We actually believe that if families and communities trust caring conversations at the table with each other – our individual burdens will be lightened and our collective heart aches will be healed.
We think the table can be a safe place to dream. Our world needs the fresh air and real hope of your dreams, too. – And the dreams of your children.
We’re not naiive enough to think this is going to happen overnight – and we’re hopeful it’ll catch on. Maybe some families will agree – even just once a week – to have an “At the Table with America” mealtime together.
The guidelines are simple: no shame, and no social media. Just face to face kindness and connection.
Mom and Dad aren’t shamed about what’s for dinner – or coming home late. Children aren’t shamed for grades or behavior. Teachers aren’t shamed; bosses aren’t shamed; news media isn’t shamed; the President isn’t shamed; family isn’t shamed; friends aren’t shamed.
Shame is the stuff that stinks up fresh air. It blames and humiliates; it cuts another down. It embarrasses and mortifies; it takes down a peg or two. Shame pushes its way to the front of the line; shame steals dignity.
Shame is a dream thief.
We may all need a place to start – especially if it’s been a while since we sat together without a screen in front of us; especially when the goal is a real conversation without shame.
Sometimes it’s a fun idea to tell stories. Memories are a good place to start; dreams will eventually tiptoe into the unashamed air.
It may take no time at all – or it may take a while – to begin to share struggles in a way that leaves out shame…and humbly asks for help.
… or at least give permission for another to wrestle with you in the current struggle chapter of your story.
Our gamble is on the long road – not an overnight sensation.
We’re not aiming for perfect participation – or any other kind of perfection. We’re aiming for connection.
Connection is a place where nothing is fixed, and everything’s changed – because we’re together.
The table is a time machine of sorts; it can carry us forward and backwards and welcome us home.
Welcome home, America.
This is the first official edition of the “Airstream Almanac.”
This journal will offer our glimpse into the year ahead –
- through the eyes of hope,
- predicting a season of increasing safety,
- by intentionally protecting each other,
- connecting as often as we can at each sunrise and sunset.
We believe connecting is how we grow – and how we heal.
If you’d like to stay connected with us – follow this link to the contact page of our website – and subscribe to our blog. You’ll receive one or two volumes a week of the Airstream Almanac.
We’d love to hear your dreams, too. Please share what you will as a comment…we’re listening.