Waking From My Field of Dreams

By Suzanne Wiggins

I have watched the movie Field of Dreams about a thousand times. I love the way it starts out with a number of seemingly unconnected people and events, all of which are convincingly connected by the end of the movie. And bonus, it involves baseball. They say art imitates life, but on my drive to work this morning I realized that my life has been imitating art in the form of my very own Field of Dreams storyline.

So for those who have seen the movie (and who hasn’t), I’m sure you’ll remember when Ray (Kevin Costner) was having a hissy fit because Shoeless Joe (Ray Liotta) invited Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) into the cornfield. Ray was insistent that he should get to go too because he built the baseball field, it was his corn and he wanted to know what was out there. Shoeless kept repeating, “I think you should stay, Ray,” “Trust me, Ray”, but he was so deep into his tantrum Ray wasn’t able to catch the subtle nuance of Joe’s knowing advice. Suddenly Ray stops and asks “why?” to which Shoeless just smiles and looks back over his shoulder. Ray follows Joe’s line of sight and low and behold there stands a young version of Ray’s deceased father. On a side note, I would have been crying uncontrollably for the past half hour starting when Karin falls off the bleachers, gets a hot dog stuck in her throat, and Doc chooses to cross the foul line which causes him to lose his dream of playing ball yet again. Sniff, sniff.

Well in my version of the story, I’m Ray, the Universe is Shoeless Joe and a person of interest has unknowingly played the part of Terence Mann. It all began a few years back on a Thursday night. I was going about my business and something very unexpected happened, something which significantly changed my life. I spent a lot of time and effort trying to decipher the clues in order to figure out what it all meant and what I should do next. It was an exhausting and uncharted road trip on life’s highway eventually bringing me to the very scene I described above. I’m obstinately arguing with the Universe, certain I know best, trying to follow Terence Mann into the corn. It’s what I want. It’s what I think I deserve. It’s what I feel is fair.

But today, today as I was driving to work I stopped in the midst of my ongoing tantrum and asked the proverbial question ‘why?’  Unlike Ray, I already knew the answer, but I let the Universe say it anyways. The journey was a means to a necessary lesson and the reason I can’t join Terence Mann in the cornfield is because there is something better waiting for me right here where I am. Something I can’t foresee. The very opportunity I have secretly longed for, but never believed could happen.

Damn it. I know the Universe is right. I finally get it. So I’ve decided I am going to stop my whining and start to trust. I am going to trust the timing of my life. I am going to trust that the Universe is on my side and learn to wait without anxiety. I’m going to trust that Pinterest will continue to provide great nuggets of wisdom that will inspire my posts.

If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next, don’t be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path toward happiness; don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present, each moment, as it comes, because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart…where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again.  ~ Everwood

Stories My Sister Tells

I have a great imagination. I owe it to my sister Karen who developed and nurtured it while we were kids. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of her having me close my eyes while she told wonderful and elaborately descriptive stories that I would imagine in my mind’s eye. We still talk about my favorite stories of the train rides through a tunnel that was speckled with glittering jewels of every kind. The train adventure was different with every telling except that it always made it through that tunnel.

It’s probably not a coincidence that my sister and I both love to write. I can’t say that it’s a direct result of our creative imaginations, but I have a strong suspicion that writing is an outlet for the crazy and wild ideas we dream up in our heads. Until I launched this blog I have rarely shared my writing with others. My sister, however, has been brave enough to put herself out there for quite some time. While working for a hospital physicians’ group long ago, she and her co-workers were encouraged to submit written examples of the organization’s core values in practice. The following was a submission my sister wrote and then shared with me.

While shopping in my local grocery store many years ago I witnessed an act of kindness I have never forgotten, and it changed me as a person.

A slim, tiresome man who looked to be in his late thirties was shopping. He took his time placing two or three items in his cart. As he shopped he would take one item out and replace it with another, being careful to select only the items a few dollars would buy. From his appearance it was clear that he didn’t have much money. His jeans were faded and dirty, and his skin was tanned and aged.

Another shopper took note of the man, watching his actions quite closely. The woman seemed to forget about her own shopping to study the man while slowly following him from aisle to aisle. Then, as the man momentarily stepped away from his cart, the woman quickly placed something in it. As I walked by I could see it was a twenty-dollar bill.

Driving home from the grocery store, I saw the man again. He was on the side of the road hitchhiking. In his left hand was a grocery bag, and in his right was a Coke. I smiled and hoped the twenty dollars had bought the man a little extra food, and perhaps made his day a little brighter.

I will never forget that day or that man. But, what impacted me the most was the woman was my mother.

Do something kind for someone; it will impact more people than you know.

Like you, I was unfamiliar with the story until I read it. Very likely, there may be members of my family that will read this post and hear the story for the first time as well. I hope it resonates with them as much as it did with me.

As a side note, I want to point out that technically I did not write anything about my mother on this blog.