Monday, July 6, 2009

Dare To Dream

~Where The Sidewalk Ends~

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
~Shel Silverstein

This poem has always held a special place in my heart. To me it's about finding a place that's better than here, a place where, "The grass grows soft and white and where the sun glows crimson bright." Shel's beautiful words take me away to an imaginary world, a place where I can go and nothing bad can happen to me, a place where all the troubles that I'm running from disappear and I am at peace. "For the children they mark, and the children, they know the place where the sidewalk ends" according to Shel, children live in a world of possibility and imagination, of beauty and magic. To find ourselves in such a place would be a return to innocence, to purity, to trust and to love.

Where the sidewalk ends can be anywhere, a dream, a secret place that you go to, even some place in the corners of your own mind. When you get to this magical place, everything that you worry about just seems not to matter anymore and the doubts, fears, and insecurities of anything that has happened to you or is happening to you goes away. There is no judgment. It's just a place where you are free to be who you truly are. It's a place to make secret plans for the future, a place to open your heart to the possibility of forever love and most importantly, it's a place where you can dare to dream......


Dawson said...

To be completely honest I will never understand how you can have so many followers who neglect to leave comments on even your most amazing of posts. That said, I am pleased to be the first to comment on this beautiful article.

Growing up my mother told me a number of times that I was closely related to May Swenson, a famous local poet whose books sat on our bookshelf right next to Shel Silverstein. For whatever reason I got it in my impressionable little head that she had been talking ABOUT Shel himself, whose poems held infinitely more interest to a child than Aunt May's.

For this reason I didn't just love Silverstien's poems... I adored them. When I was about 8 my parents put a nightlight in my room for the first time and I remember staying up half the night reading Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light In The Attic more often than not.

As I grew up in the public school system we would hold occasional talent shows. Although I was far to embarrassed to perform in any school wide contests I loved the opportunity to perform on a classroom level. Growing up I fancied that I had an above average memory and so each time we held a talent show I made it my solemn vow that I would memorize one of Silverstein's poems and recite it by heart in front of my entire class.

To prove my versatility each time I would pick a different poem, never doing the same poem twice, with the lone exception of Where The Sidewalk Ends which I performed three separate times.

I love you for sharing your affection for this poem and, more importantly, your address of what the poems means to you individually. Thank you!