A Library of Dreams

Rows of wooden shelves bearing over 40,000 volumes that date from the 15th to the 20th century. Welcome to the Palafoxiana Library (Biblioteca Palafoxiana) in Puebla, Mexico.

When I entered this library, I gazed with awe. History, craftsmanship, and literature come together here. But something more than the dates, architectural details and words caught my fancy. Something intangible yet just as real – dreams. Not the while-you’re-asleep dreams but the longing-of-your-heart dreams.

What dreams belonged to the authors behind those books? Were they living their dreams when they penned their magnum opuses or were they yearning for something else?

Dreams are really kind of like books. Generally, we keep them tucked away on the shelves of our lives. Some come off for daily use. Maybe they’ve become battered and water stained. Others are tenderly taken down only at special moments. Then there are the dreams that sit, collecting dust and waiting for the right time to move. Perhaps once in a while we dust them, but we rarely take them down. After all, those dreams are often on the hefty side!

How are our dream libraries looking these days? Letting a dream wait until the right time is fine – in fact, it’s good (Ecclesiastes 3) – but are there any weighty dreams that just need some good muscle to get them off the shelf? Or does one of the for-daily-use dreams need a new spine or a new cover for a fresh outlook on life? Do some dreams need to switch places for a season? Could it be that this is one of those days to pull down an especially sweet dream just to nourish the heart?

Maybe you’re like me and have a tendency to collect books faster than you could possibly, much less realistically, read them. However, I don’t want to be a mere collector of books; I want to be a reader of books. In the same way, I don’t want to be a mere collector of dreams; I want to be a doer of dreams.

Visiting the Palafoxiana Library was part of doing a dream that had been shelved for a long time. Now I’m getting to do another, albeit simpler, dream of sharing this place with you. Grandma was right again: “The hardest part is getting started.”

Oh, and since we’re talking about libraries and dreams, what would your dream book library look like? I’m all ears!

Puebla Palafoxiana Library entrance

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