Got Hope? How about Audacious Dreams?

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon, AZ — Erin’s New Backyard

Got Hope? How about Audacious Dreams? Have you ever dared to imagine something big, then have your mind blown by the great goodness that came back to you?

Last month my friend–let’s call her Erin–moved across the country to start a new job at the Grand Canyon. She had never been there before. But Erin had thought a lot about what she needed most in her life. She wagged a finger at her uncertainty, clutched hope, and took a chance on the job offer.

Before Erin moved away, she asked me if I had ever been to the Grand Canyon. I nodded.

“Is it as wonderful as people say?”

I thought of the canyon’s South Rim: 50 shades of pastel. Its unique horizontal gravity. It had gently pulled my gaze further than it had ever traveled before…or since. That vast geological garden was the antithesis of a popular site so familiar to Erin and me. I said, “You know how people say after they visit the White House that it’s smaller than they expected? Well, the Grand Canyon is the opposite of that. Postcards can’t do it justice.”

Erin arrived safely and settled in. A few days ago, she sent me a picture of the view that patiently awaits her arrival every morning. While on a walk with her doggie, she snapped a photo of the view from her path. She texted it to me. I gawked at Erin’s new “backyard.”

Was Erin’s dream audacious? Is it unimaginable that a single woman could trek onward without certainty or a return ticket?


I can relate to Erin’s story. At the age of 22 I moved across the country, drove from L.A. to Washington, D.C. The highlighted route on my unfolded map led me to the legendary town. Otherwise, I could not have clearly explained where it was wedged among the mid-Atlantic states. I knew that the school I would attend was there, but I had never before seen the suburb and house that I would call “home” during the year that followed. And I had no idea that my intended three-year residency would turn into a 30+ year life of marriage and career that I could not have scripted even with the help of the Delphic Oracle and a Magic 8 Ball.

When we, or our kids, strike out for the territory, maybe we are courageous. Maybe we are ambitious. Maybe we’re naïve. Or desperate. Those characteristics are on display–on stage–for all to see. Directing us from row AA Orchestra, hope sits, leaning forward with chin in hand. Clear eyed. Ever whispering. “Come on. You can do it.”

And so, we dare to try, to envision something beyond what we expect. Isn’t that what Hamlet meant when he encouraged his BFF? “There are more things in heaven and in earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

When did you trust an audacious dream or instinct, and what goodness came back to you? I’d love to hear from you.

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