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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Your dreams--my dreams...

Making Room for Change

The thing you have to be prepared for is that other people don't always dream your dream.”
Linda Ronstadt

When I see Linda Ronstadt's name, it takes me back to California in the late 1960's. I was newly married, barely out of my teens, and in college at Sacramento State University. My husband was in Air Force flight school, and we lived at an apartment complex near the base. It was the first time in my life I had friends who were not Southerners. Instead, they were from Boston, Milwaukee, Chicago, even Puerto Rico! They spoke in ways I had never heard before, had their own dialect. To me, they may as well have been exotic creatures from another planet. I practice-taught in a small town north of Sacramento, Rio Linda, and most of my students were Latino. We made a float for the Camellia Festival and marched in the parade dressed like ancient Greeks. Ronald Reagan was governor. Downtown, the streets were lined with orange trees! Orange trees, heavy with fruit! How very strange that seemed to a mountain girl from North Carolina.

The musical backdrop for that time was Linda Ronstadt singing:

You and I travel to the beat of a different drum.
Oh, can't you tell by the way I run,
Every time you make eyes at me. Wo, oh.
You cry and you moan and say it will work out,
But honey child I've got my doubts.
You can't see the forest for the trees...”
(Stone Poneys—Different Drum)

Boy, was our drumbeat ever different! Everything was different. I became different. And, I became different simply because I was exposed to those people, and that place, at that time. Different ideas, different speech patterns, different dreams and aspirations. We all left Sacramento after flight school, dispersed to various bases across the country. All of us forever changed; broadened by the experience of having been thrown together with folks who viewed the world from a different perspective. I wouldn't take anything for the memory of that time.

In making room for change, we must realize that not everyone shares our ideas of what is right, what is important. And, realizing this, we do not have to make them wrong, or warped, or anything else besides different. When we insist that everyone think as we do, we are simply out of touch with reality. Everyone comes to this moment with their own history, their own experience. We don't have to dance to the very same drum to make beautiful music together.

                                                          In the Spirit,


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