"It was unbelievable - storks in their laps. Great, strange birds that flew over oceans and seas and continents were lying here in their laps. Pier and Lina looked at each other - an awed, astounded look - then they looked at the storks again, trying to believe it."
'"You can't believe it," Janus kept whispering. "You can't believe it - storks in Shora."
"Not since I was a little child," Grandmother Sibble III said softly to herself.
"Storks in Shora," Lina repeated. "But I can believe it, Janus! It's so impossibly impossible, I can believe it now."
"Ah, yes, little Lina," the teacher said. "So impossibly impossible that it just had to be. And the long dream - storks on every roof in Shora - is beginning to come true."'
Just ten minutes ago Andrew and I finished "The Wheel on the School" by Meindert DeJong, illustrated by Maurice Sendak (who passed away just last week, I believe).
It's a story of a small village in Holland. A story of Lina, and how she dreams of storks on every roof in Shora. The story takes place over just a few days, but is absolutely jam packed with exciting detail and adventure. The effort to bring storks to Shora unites the whole village and brings them close together. New friends are made and close inter-generational ties are formed.
A theme that runs through the book is how impossible this task is....but their dream eventually comes true.
The first quoted paragraph above I nearly didn't get through. I had to swallow hard as I was getting all choked up with the emotion of it. All that effort! Pier nearly died saving the storks! And here they were, in their laps.
The second quote is the last one in the book, and I nearly didn't get through that one either. I read it, closed the book, and looked at Andrew.
"What is so impossibly impossible to you?"
At first he didn't know what I was asking.
"Lina really really really wanted storks in Shora. It was such a big dream there was no way it could ever happen. It was impossibly impossible that it could happen. But it did.
For me it's running a hundred miles. I really really really want to run a hundred miles. It's such a big dream I don't know that it can happen. It's impossibly impossible.
What is impossibly impossible for you?"
There was a reverent silence as he lay there, his eyes gazing into the distance, biting a little on his finger. Then he turned to me with eyes wide. He knew what the dream was, but it was a little frightening for him to voice it. He quietly said, "Running a marathon with Daddy. He's so fast I don't know that I can ever do it."
I was quiet for a second as we both breathed in the wonder of voicing our impossibly impossible dreams. Such a reverent, tender, sacred moment. I treasured it.
What is impossibly impossible for you?