|Why couldn't the sky look like this today?|
Last night I woke from a dream in which I was a young woman who was trying to discourage a guy who wouldn't leave me alone. This sort of thing hasn't happened to me for decades, but in the dream it was very immediate and real. When I woke up, I realized that the young man reminded me of someone but I couldn't think who. As I lay in bed thinking, I realized that there are many facets of my mind that remain mysterious to me. Why do we dream? What function do dreams have? I was there in the dream, I could feel the strong emotions, both mine and his, the situation as real and solid as this keyboard. It took a few minutes for the dream to fade away.
Then my mind turned to an old friend I haven't thought of in a while, Baat. I began to imagine what might be going on in her life. We met when she was a skydiving neophyte. Before I even met Smart Guy, she showed up with 35 jumps at Skydive Colorado and we became friends. We ended up traveling together to different places to skydive, such as Arizona, and we shared a tent now and then. I introduced her to the skydiver who ended up becoming her husband, a postgraduate student at the University of Colorado. They now have three children, and I went to her Facebook page when I woke this morning and looked at pictures to see how they're doing these days. That's the nice thing about Facebook: I can see what is going on with friends and family by simply logging on and taking a visual tour.
Back to the early 1990s: Baat was getting ready to attend college but didn't have any idea what she wanted to study. She thought perhaps she might become a teacher, and she was smart enough and talented enough to do whatever might interest her. At the time I needed someone at work who might be able to help me create a web page for our section. This was back in the days before everybody had websites, and there weren't even any tools for creating them. Mosaic had just become available to use as a browser. I hired Baat to take a stab at it, with none of us having much idea how to proceed. Smart Guy taught her the basic functions of html coding, and she was like a duck that just discovered water: she was simply amazing. Within a week she knew more than I could have imagined, than anyone could have taught her, and her imagination and innate ability gave us our first website.
She then knew what she wanted to study: computer science. Baat has gone on to become an innovator in computer science and technology and now works at Women 2.0 in San Francisco, a company that aspires "to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education." It just goes to show that you can never tell what occurrence might start any of us on a new path that ends up becoming our passion.
When I think of my life today, with the beginning of my eighth decade just around the corner, I wonder what life event might cross my path and change everything. Of course, it could just as easily be the sudden passing of a loved one, but I'm not even going to go there in my thoughts. That has already happened to me too many times. What I would like to imagine instead is a fortuitous conversation at the coffee shop that leads to an exciting new adventure or two. Doesn't that sound like fun?
My life has a form to it that I hesitate to mess with: riding the bus four days a week to town to have a latte at the coffee shop and then take my exercise class; spending every Thursday in the mountains with my senior friends; riding my bike around town and learning all about the bike trails; and driving down to Snohomish in the summertime to play in the air. I've made many friends and acquaintances and feel a distinct sense of belonging here. But there's always room for improvement.