In high school, I had lofty ambitions. I dreamed of rock bands and tour buses, late nights and songs written on a napkin stained with coffee in a town I would forget. I considered a career as a tattoo artist, as a plain old regular artist, as a writer of heartbreaking fiction populated by girls wearing lots of black eyeliner and boots.
In college, my hopes expanded to include organic farms and roadside vegetable stands and my new husband, who would plant the garden and help me raise chickens in the backyard. We would eat fresh eggs for breakfast with black coffee and tomatoes plucked from the garden that morning. I would write in a sun room, revelling in the heat on a rare hot day, surrounded by flecks of dust that sparkled strangely in the sun, looking a little like mist or smoke.
There would be houseplants. We would have babies.
Now, my dreams are of a simpler, sweeter breed. They are wrapped up in this moment, where I make my own bread and granola and stay home with my baby and pray in the mornings. Every year I try to plant an herb garden and every year, to some degree, I fail, but still I have one rosemary plant that hangs on and from it I make fresh rosemary lemonade or rosemary bread that does not rise.
I meet my husband at work at the end of the day and we walk home together, our baby tucked up against one of our chests in a carrier, sleeping soundly.
None of this is perfect, but it is good.
We still hope for gardens and chickens and sun rooms, but we do not move toward some envisioned point, shining but obscured by the future. Instead, we rest in these moments, knowing that this is where God has placed us and wherever he sends us next will be better, not because we deserve it, not because it won’t be difficult, but because he is with us, shoring us up on either side and leading us boldly on.