You'll Find Me in the Backyard
I used to build forts as a kid.
I suppose I was just like every other 90's baby running up and down our dead-end street with scraped knees and bruised elbows. Before technology made its way into our playrooms, our very own imaginations were the only things to keep us entertained. Between neighbourhood wide games of cops and robbers, transforming our old, rickety, wrap-around porch into a classroom, and holding figure skating competitions on the home-made, backyard rink my Dad would build every winter, I have my fair share of hilarious and beautiful memories of a full childhood my parents did everything they could to give me and my sisters.
And as I think back to the Autumn of 2003, there was nothing I looked forward to more after a long day in grade two than coming home to build a new fort in the backyard. I would crawl under the back right corner of our shed to retrieve the scrap pieces of wood my Dad would always leave behind for me and drown myself in material as I would sift through layers and layers of dresses in the costume box to find something that could become a curtain or two. It would be a few planks leaned up against a garbage can or blankets draped across two long branches. Each day it was something different, but I remember how comfortable and safe I felt nestled in my miniature homes that ironically would blow apart if the mildest wind came about.
But it wasn't just back yard forts I pretended were mansions. In the summer, it was beach lean-to's at Grammy and Grampy's cottage. In the winter, it was multiple snow tunnels hidden around our property. I would dig small openings on the sides of the tunnels as windows in which I would place electronic candles I had bought with my tooth-fairy money to give off an ambiance that would transform our yard at night into a village of glowing snow-homes.
Memories I hold dear.
I wouldn't have seen it even just two years ago, but more and more, in my adult life, I am beginning to recognize such strong parallel's to the child I was. I still love to build things. I am still very much drawn to the idea of cultivating something from close to nothing. To persevere in the process of building a business that is rooted in a craft I taught myself through years now of trial and error. To imagine a life that I would think to be beautiful and fulfilling and lay the bricks down one by one in its pursuit.
And I suppose when I was younger, I dreamed of the house I would live in and the job I would have. But those details matter less to me now. Because although I would try to build kingdoms out of snow when I was 7, there is a more worthy Kingdom I hope to focus my energy into sewing these days... it's my Father's Kingdom. Just as my childhood now feels like a breath or a blink, so will the rest of my life. Even if I live to grow old, it will still be so short in the wake of eternity. I know this. And this does not warrant fear for me but rather intentionality towards a purpose driven life. I want to love as fully as I can and give more than I am able, by God's strength, for His glory.
And often I feel like I don't measure up. I feel as though I am not equipped to pursue the dreams I believe He has put inside of me. I am all too quick to lose heart in the process. But I'm learning, that in daily fixing my eyes on Him, I am able to rest in His strength, trading my fears and anxieties for the confidence that even just a scrap piece of wood can become a shelter. And the things He calls me to do, He will also make a way.
So to the backyard I'll return, to dream and build, dream and build again.