Hope Travel

Rekindling The Desire to Dream Once Again

I don’t quite know what the mahogany-skinned Cubana dreams of as she descends into her grand plié.

Don’t know what stage she’s graced or whose heart she’s captivated.

I only know the trembling burn from executing similar movements of my own.

And I imagine her taut, flexed muscles as she leaps into grandeur.

Photo: Courtesy of Caridad Martinez

I know stark branches lay dormant outside my windows, awaiting future warmth.

I know winter wind is strong enough to…

sway those branches into a lovely dance of their own, an eloquent corps de ballet.


Don’t know the taste of government-rationed rice, how it’s harvested or bagged.

Neither do I know how deep it satiates island hunger, or who it nourishes.

I only know the familiar comfort which comes from my own cooking.

I know the aromatic concoctions of beans and rice, flavors of ancestral inheritance.

I know dreary days of winter will attempt to rob the palpitating warmth of my unfulfilled dreams.

I know a higher degree of warmth will one day singe my skin golden.

I know I’d like to walk dilapidated Old Havana, Cuba…

An Island Jewel who still Echoes Her Cold War memory...

I don’t quite know if a three-ounce bag of Cuban sugar tastes sweeter than my own; nor do I know if Cuban coffee holds a fruitier note.

I only know the pang of guilt I sense as I open my cupboards to pounds of sugar cane excess.

I only imagine drinking café con leche with a thick-boned ebony matriarch—we’ll drink and laugh heartily—I’ll grab her calloused hands to pray.

I long for Cuba….

I don’t know your longings.

Nor do I understand the deep cave of your own quiet desires. What I do know is together we’re still contending for future plans yet written.

What will you do with the clean slate of your own new year?

What goals will you accomplish? What will you aim for?

What new land do you hope to encounter?

Perhaps this new year…

You’ll let go of bitter roots, inhale grace.

Maybe the oil of gladness will resurface, coating you in joy.

What if what you imagined finally came to fruition—if fulfilled dreams channeled holy blessing?

There’s a weary old drunkard shuffling through the streets of Havana with an ancient dream of his own—tucked inside his pant pocket.

A group of rebellious Cuban teenagers who’ve yet to touch heavenly mercy…

A broken woman forced to feed her children through illicit means.

Don’t know them—not yet at least, but in the far future of this new year, I will.

Adam Zvanovec / Unsplash

“Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” {Genesis 32:26, NIV}

I challenge you to boldly wrestle for your unmet dreams…
What flame of hope needs rekindling? 
Praying you revive what’s barren in your own heart…



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