One of the most haunting and beautiful songs in a Broadway musical comes from “Les Miserables”, Fantine’s tragic solo, “I dreamed a dream”. The lyrics by librettist, Alain Boublil are as follow:

There was a time when men were kind

When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song

And the song was exciting

There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by

When hope was high
And life worth living

I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted

There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night

With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame
He slept a summer by my side

He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride

But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he’ll come to me

That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living

So different now from what it seemed

Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

Of what do you dream? What are your dreams? There certainly will be storms that come to sweep away our dreams, yet we still dream dreams, for as humans, we all dream dreams and our lives are the better for dreaming. So what are your dreams? What causes you to waken in the night with an intense longing and yearning for a better world, a better life, a better way? Write them down, etch them upon your heart, let no one take them from you. Your dreams are a gift from God. There still can be a time “when hope is high and life is worth living”.

Have you dreamed a dream recently? Have you shared this vision with anyone? Of what have you been dreaming of at night in the past month? Sometimes, our night-visions confirm our heart’s dreams and deepest longings. Yet so often, we are too busy, anxious and unattentive to listen and remember our dreams. I awoke today with an image in my mind: our night-dreams are like wild birds in our yard. Awaken quickly to alarms, get up suddenly, and you will startle those wild birds and they will fly away and you’ll find in the morning that all your dreams in the night have fled and you will not be able to recall one. The garden seems empty. But awaken quietly, slowly and look around you as emerge from sleep. There you will see wild birds perched on many branches, and you will begin to recognize and remember your dreams. Our dreams, like wild birds, will quicken our heart to the beauty and joy and wildness which fills our soul.