It was only a sandbox. Boatshaped and rarely used, it arrived six years ago and made an oval-shaped dirt imprint in our lawn. With barely enough sand to make it useful, it held the little buckets, shovels and beach toys that we had accumulated with anticipation.
Only a sandbox, and yet not. It was the subject of my first blog post six (six?) years ago. We were two years into marriage and childless, wondering what that meant and where this road would lead. We had plans and dreams, and in among those dreams was a boat shaped space for a sandbox. It fit, snug and tidy… arrived with matching dreams of lazy summer days, the playful spray of the sprinkler, sidewalk chalk and spilled ice cream.
Six years later, that sandbox found a new home and two instant four year old friends. We had been planning to part with it, and when friends asked whether they could take it, we quickly agreed. And as it left this past Saturday, I looked down at that patch of compacted dirt and smiled.
The memories of six years flashed quickly and quietly before me; grief, joy, hope, disappointment, anger, frustration… ending quietly and peacefully at contentment. More than contentment, even. Satisfaction… peace… joy… wonder…
We’re planning a new garden, you see. This backyard may not sport sidewalk chalk and sandboxes, but we have dreams of sedums and shasta daisies and butterfly bushes. Of a fire pit aglow on a summer’s night, surrounded by friends and family, the hum of laughter and conversation echoed by crickets.
There are dreams for a cozy backyard haven. There may not be children or sandboxes or summer sprinkler runs. And even as we dream, we know that plans may change, surprising and unexpected, as they often do.
We are meant for dreams… dreams that, when whispered, know that whatever God plans – and however contrary to ours – will be good and beautiful and to His glory. Sandboxes, sedums and all…