Quote from the movie Polar Express:
Hobo: What exactly is… is your persuasion on the Big Man, since you brought him up?
The Boy: Well, I… I want to believe… but…
Hobo: But you don’t want to be bamboozled. You don’t want to be led down the primrose path! You don’t want to be conned or duped. Have the wool pulled over your eyes. Hoodwinked! You don’t want to be taken for a ride. Railroaded!
Hobo continues: Seeing is believing. Am I right?
“If you do not believe, you will not receive.” I grew up hearing these words. It seems as we grow older, reality becomes easier to focus on while childhood dreams and imaginations fade away. When you are young, you do not question the joys you experience. You wake on a special day and find gifts left where you expected them. Your mystical imagination is rewarded. You continue to believe, without ever doubting, the Easter bunny will magically hide eggs and the Tooth Fairy will know you have lost a tooth. As you grow older, reality chips away at these fun and festive experiences. My dreams and imagination are no longer centered on a loose tooth; rather, I look at a pair of new running shoes and hold this same mystical fascination that these may be the pair to carry me across a 5K’s finish line.
I had a stroke in 2003. I was twenty-seven. I spoke with a doctor shortly after waking up. It was then I learned I may never walk independently again. It was with those words I promised myself I would work as hard as I could to once again walk alone. I was slow and cautious, but I walked by myself out the hospital doors. Now I walk at least three miles a day to keep up my strength and coordination. Yet, with all of this walking, I still am unable to run more than a block. I should be thrilled with a block I know. Still, I want to continue pushing myself to regain the abilities the stroke stole from me. The muscle groups no longer work together to allow me to run, but I work hard to try anyway. Whether I make it two strides or two driveways, I constantly work to reach this next milestone. I still dream of what others claim is not a reality.
Realistically, new shoes will not allow me to run the 3.1 miles I dream of. New shoes will not offer the security I will never fall again. They will not prevent my toe from dropping causing it to catch and me to fall. Yet, I like to dream the chance of running a 5K is a reality. I like to make-believe the Easter bunny will be dropping off a basket of exquisite dark chocolates in a fun Easter basket. I hope the Tooth Fairy will not oversleep next time my little ones lose a molar. There is something fun, hopeful and exciting when we allow ourselves to suspend our disbelief and cherish our dreams. Dreams, sometimes unrealistic, can once again be real…even if only within the magic of our imaginations.