It was Don Quixote — the first professional play I ever saw. I suppose I’ve been chasing windmills ever since.
We boarded the big yellow school bus in Alexandria, Minnesota and took the two hour ride to Minneapolis. It was actually in Chanhassen, a smaller suburb. And we probably just called it “the cities” (short for Minneapolis and St. Paul). When I think about it, we did that for almost everything. Put a “the” in front of it. Claimed it. Gave it importance. As if it were the only. And for a long time, it all was, the only. My grandparents farm was “the farm.” Viking Plaza was “the mall.” The twin cities of Minneapolis and St.Paul — simply “the cities.”
But it was there, just a bus ride away, inside the Chanhassen dinner theatre, that I dared, maybe for the first time, to “dream the impossible dream.” Without my knowledge or permission, the tears flowed down my teenage face as the actor sang the song. I guess my heart always knew.
I wasn’t sure how I would survive my first birthday without my mom. How would I “bear with unbearable sorrow?” We went on a mini vacation – a quest. And there was the windmill. “The” windmill — My impossible dream. There was still joy. Incredible, possible, joy! I had, in fact, a wonderful birthday! Truly! I will forever believe. Forever chase.
It was mom who put me on that first bus. I won’t let her down. I will keep riding the wind.