This past week I went to visit my Mother’s house. When I arrived she wasn’t there. I heard the rustle of leaves and noticed that the vestiges of Autumn’s winter preparation had gathered in drifts on her porch. Her rooftop was also nearly covered in white oak leaves and pine straw. I pulled my truck up next to the lower part of her carport, grabbed a broom, and made my way up.
The feeling was so familiar. As I swept, high above the earth, memories flooded in, washing me with feelings of nostalgia. Being an ultra adventurous skinny little boy with dreams to0 heavy to lift at the time, I would sometimes sit for long spans atop that house. It was never just a rooftop. Above the hustle and bustle of the world below, I would allow my mind to soar as I squinted against the sun. I remember feeling like one of the big cats, sitting there surveying the land about me, unnoticed but with the potential to command attention at any moment I chose. I remember thinking how no one really looks that high up unless prompted. They were too busy with being in the small space around them. Sometimes, when I was bored of the aloneness, I would yell out to a passing friend in low country. They would turn and look, taking a while to spot the little brown boy on the rooftop. The response was always one of surprise and immediate change of course, running over to see how they too, could gain access to this lofty space. I would help them up and we would enjoy our perch. Their bubbling excitement always gave me a sense of accomplishment, a satisfied feeling of well being. The knowing that I had ushered them here to this space where few dared to tread, fed my soul. This space where we left fear on the ground and dreams and the imagination easily took root.
I sat for a minute on the roof with my younger self. The slate colored shingles warm beneath me, balanced out the slight chill of the sunlit autumn day. I squinted my eyes against the afternoon sun and breathed deep. The big cat was still there. My mom had come home and was pulling greens in her garden. The cars passed below, and a few people dotted the sidewalk. I was in that space again, remembering, reminiscing, replaying ideas, thoughts, and experiences from childhood to now. I took inventory of my life in that moment and realized that I had been creating the mirror all along. However big my dreams were and outlandish my imagination soared, created the mirror in which I can now look into. I can honestly say that I am becoming the reflection of that child’s dreams, the mirrored image of those possibilities. Where is your space? Where are the childhood hopes and dreams buried; the ones you had before anyone told you how and who to be by name or shame. Reflecting on those daydreams can be a mirror, an adventure packed burnt edged, fold-riddled parchment paper treasure map to the life you really want to live. Even if you’re not there, it still is. Travel back too that space. Your mind can still take you there. It knows the way. Then take a close and honest look. Is your reflection true to who really are?