Recently, I awoke with a statement running through my dream, “Coming to grips with our humanness.” In the dream, I saw one of my students holding the small green and navy blue airplane he gave to me a couple of weeks ago. The airplane propeller has a rubber band attached and my students love to wind it and then let go to see the airplane move forward in tiny jerks.
I vividly remember the day he gave the airplane to me.
“Mrs. Luna, which one do you want?” I looked up to see this tall, lanky youth with a smile stretched across his face. His eyes sparkled, and he held a wooden model in each hand opened palms up.
I could see a navy blue airplane in one hand and a black and yellow helicopter in the other.
“Did you make these?” I crooned.
“Yes, these are models I put together and I want you to have one. You can choose.”
Although the helicopter was adorable, I knew my choice was the plane. It reminded me of the little black and green plane on the writing bulletin board in my classroom. Also seen in a dream, this plane pulled the words up into the air, “How to get an essay off the ground.” The dream provided secrets for inspiring self-expression in youth as well as displaying tips for organizing writing from a Write for the Future training I had attended (Thinking Maps Inc.).
Every year since that dream, I have witnessed the resiliency of the human soul to turn from despair and embrace hope when writing becomes a part of a student’s life.
This morning, I pondered the dream and the student who appeared in the dream. He is someone who has come to grips with his humanness. Many of his teachers, including me, worried about his success this year. He has so many challenges to overcome. In the beginning of the year, He popped up from his chair like popcorn in a hot skillet. I groaned when he wandered around the room (every five minutes). I huffed when he argued with me about having to read. I moaned as he challenged my instructions.
Yet now only two months into the new school year, this remarkable young man has flourished. He begs to take books home to read them and then returns and passes most of the tests. If he doesn’t, he studies the books until he does. His reading level has already increased more than the points expected after a year.
From this inspired young man, I have learned what can happen if a person accepts his or her limitations and then tries like mad to pursue desired goals.
Recently he approached me with a request, “Can I be the captain of the Creativity Club? (I’m starting one that will meet at lunch and after school to explore writing and other artistic projects). I will buy some kits for these airplane models and teach others how to make them.”
I googled the phrase that visited me in my dream, “Coming to grips with our humanness.” I only found one result and it was a sermon by Rev. Dr. Keith Wagner, D.Min. Pastor titled “Do You Have the Christmas Spirit?” – Mark 1:1-8 – December 4, 2004.
Although the entire sermon is amazing, here are two of my favorite lines quite fitting for this theme:
“Humility is not always an easy attribute to grasp. It requires emptying oneself, coming to grips with our humanness and our finitude…
The spirit of God cannot enter our souls until we are willing to humble ourselves and learn that we are mere mortals, in need of a powerful and eternal God.”
In the days ahead, I will remember the message of this dream, to acknowledge my humanness and finitude so that God’s power can enter my soul. I will also think about the little green and navy blue plane and a special student whose resilience inspires me to soar above my human limitations.