I think I was in junior high when I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull for the first time. It was the 70’s, Back then we still only had a handful of television stations that went off the air in the wee hours, computers were a futuristic device from Star Trek (the original, with Captain James T Kirk), and cartoons were on TV Saturday mornings. We still read the paper that was delivered to our doorstep and the only phone in the house was the Trim line with a 60-foot cord.

My 11-year-old brain didn’t grasp the depth of this novella; I wasn’t thinking about transcendence or spirituality when I read it. I related to Jonathan’s differences, about being an outcast and not fitting in. And of possibility and hope. The idea that I might be able to be more than what I was, that I could ever live beyond the confines of my neighborhood, or be what others thought that I was not capable of.

Decades would pass before I picked up that book and read it again. It swept me away again, but this time with my adult brain and only the memories of childhood past. It is still relevant, still able to remind me that limitations are only in our minds, and we are chained or tethered only if we allow ourselves to be.

I hope you read this again, or for the first time. Read it with your inner child present. Read it with your own child, and watch for the possibilities to light their face. Remember that it is OK to dream- it is good to hope, that greatness is in every one of us, whether we are moving on or return to extend our hand to the ones that remain behind. The ones who need our hope to inspire theirs.

As always, my hopes are for your hopes and dreams. T