One of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau is about the connection between dreaming and doing.

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost: that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

Thoreau knew something about the challenge of connecting dreams with things actually done in the world. He built a cabin at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts and then lived in it for two years so he could tell people about his experiences — both the “mean” as well as the “sublime” of them.

The other night, I was reminded of a different quote about how dreams emerge from youthful visions. But they often re-form.

As we were digging this past week around the cabin site, we were reminded that the site we chose for Walden Cabin was a site our kids had chosen for a fort some 20 years ago. We found remnants of building supplies, lego pieces, an assortment of tools that went missing (including two old saws) — even a sandal from one of our daughters! Here’s the quote from Thoreau that came to mind:

“The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or perchance, a palace or temple on the earth — and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed [or a cabin] with them.”

So, long live the visions of our youth! Indeed, without a vision, as the Scriptures teach us, the people perish.

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