I had a dream.
I was on a journey. A bike ride. A long bike ride. There were no paved roads where I was. I knew there were paved roads ‘ahead’ but I didn’t know how to get to them. My bike had a passenger seat. The passenger seat was occupied by my Dad. My dad could not help me peddle. He couldn’t steer or influence my direction by leaning. He also was not a burden. His weight did not affect my bike. The only thing my Dad could do was talk to me.
The roads and trails were all muddy but some were easier paths than others. Dad would point out to me where we were going and then would advise me how to get there. He would tell me where the difficult patches were and how to avoid them. He’d show me which path, of several options, was the least draining to travel.
With his help the way was hard but not as hard as it could have been. The only extremely difficult time I remember was when I decided on a course that contradicted what Dad told me. I thought I saw an easier, more efficient route so I took it. The way was filled with bumps, mudholes and slow going. Mud would build up on my tires until I was forced to stop several times to scrap it off just to be able to move again.
But the worst part of this difficult road I chose was Dad’s silence. I knew he wasn’t angry. I knew he wasn’t even disappointed. He wanted to help. But he couldn’t. He could not say a word unless I asked for help and heeded his advice. Otherwise, he was speechless. Advising me was the only thing he could do to help me. And I had ignored him. Finally, shamed and tired, I asked him for help. I immediately felt his love and appreciation. He directed me back to the easier road but we had to go all the way back the way I had come.
There were towns we went through. Some of the people in these towns would harry and harass me. I specifically remember passing a baseball game where some of the crowd turned to mock and insult me. They would specifically put things in my path to make it more difficult to navigate. I felt confused and hurt. I couldn’t understand why they were doing these things to me. But my Dad reassured me. He advised me how best to ignore them and to not get angry. He also began to tell me how to avoid them. He’d tell me there’s a group up ahead, we should go that way. Or there’s people in that crowd that we have to go by but just go quickly and ignore them.
Eventually, toward the end of one small town I saw a giant structure. It block the entire way forward. There was no way around it or over it. It was like a giant wall cut straight from a mountain. There was a huge crowd of people before the wall. They, also, were travelers. Some had bikes like me but most people walked. They were all headed toward one area of the wall and we went too. Ahead, I could see giant glass windows. Below the windows were doors that the flood of people were going through. Only one at a time and only one way. There were no people come back in. But beyond the doors, I could see there was pavement.
I felt anxious to get out of these difficult dirt roads and travel on that smooth pavement. I felt impatient at the crowd and congestion. But my Dad put his hand on my shoulder and with love and a twinkle in his eye he told me to wait my turn and be patient. It wasn’t my time yet. Then I woke up.