“What’s your dream?” I love that line at the end of the movie Pretty Woman. Yep, there is definitely a Cinderella in this girl, but that is for another blog post; must say as a side note that my daughter loves the movie too…hmmmm, what is it about us girls and love?!
What is my dream? I shared that I have had the same dream for thirty years, well in actuality it has been thirty-three years. To be concrete that means that this fifty year old woman has been carrying a vision/dream in her heart since she was seventeen years old. In looking at the rear view mirror of my life I know that many experiences impacted this dream, my great grandpa’s farm where I would toddle along behind him to do the chores and play with salamanders in the musty dirty root cellar, my 100,000 acre back yard where I grew up wild and care-free, my outdoorsy father and grandpa who’s eyes twinkled with joy when they were immersed in nature, my big grandpa’s garden where he resided all those summers of my youth, my time in Australia as an exchange student absorbing the down-under spirit, the raw untamed beauty of Zimbabwe and its people, and the list goes on. The paths that we meander grow us into the people we become; all the while blooming into what comes next.
The base driving forces behind my dream reside in two inner knowing connections. The first has existed within me always and that is the truth that nature has been my true home, the place I find peace, acceptance, unconditional love, and inspiration. The second impacting piece is the clear knowing that without connection to others, life is a hollow experience, for a new car may be exciting, yet it holds no pleasure if no one will ride with you. You put these two things together and you have my dream – a sustainable community where people live and work in harmony with the world around them. Now I know this has once again become the “new back to the land” movement, like fashion I have watched this “fad” come and go every so many years. For me it is not a fleeting cool idea, it is an ingrained dream that lives and breathes within all my moments.
I can remember in my late teens trying to find books that would share with me stories of people who lived this way – I found a few in the obscure corners of dusty bookstores. Then delightfully in my late twenties it was the hip thing to do, so information was more readily available; even found myself on a solo road trip to the Grand Opening of the Real Goods Solar Living Center in Hopland California. Still the dots did not connect for me and I found myself stuck in the rut of “doing” life versus “living” life.I perpetually seemed unable to break the inertia of “normal life” and continued to try to fit in and do the “right thing”!
As I neared my fiftieth birthday I took stock of my crazy life journey. I realized that the dream still burned vibrantly in my being. The books purchased over three decades sat with dust gathering upon my shelves, and I was role modeling to my children that dreams do not come true!! The latter part of the previous sentence scorched like the sting of a scorpion. As a parent who loves her children beyond words, I really struggled with what I was role modeling and what the world around them was imbuing to them. When I was a junior high teacher I was immensely saddened by how many of the students I met that did not want to grow up, they saw no joy in the adult world that they were inheriting, instead all they saw was the burden of responsibility and dreariness of “going to work”. This experience teamed with my own children’s apathy for growing up made me hurt for the next generation. What were we as adults handing down to our children, what were we sharing with them in our daily living? One day I gave the assignment to write a paragraph about “What is your dream?” to the four classes I taught. After they wrote we opened the floor for classroom discussion, this was an eye opening, heartbreaking experience for me – many of them did not have dreams, others did not believe they could ever achieve their dreams, and still others so no benefit to having a dream or passion. A few had dreams, and a very few believed that they could achieve their dreams. This drove me to ask, “Who are your heroes?” this brought forth another ground shaking awareness that I can share at another time.
Finally a friend graced me with an analogy that bolted me like lightening on a sunny day. He said, “A friend once shared with me this analogy, there are two ways to get out of a rut, the first is to take a severe right or left turn and deal with the roller coaster ride that follows this choice and the second is to gradually keep trying to drive out of the rut. Sometimes you will get sucked back in, at other times you will make some progress.” It is funny how at pivotal moments in our life we hear the perfect thing to set our wheels in motion. His sharing hit me between the eyes!! For years and years I had been trying to GRADUALLY drive out of the rut, always being sucked back in…– YUCK!! The time had come to take the DRASTIC sharp right turn out of the rut and live true to my heart’s passion, to walk the truth of my all time favorite quote by Gandhi, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
So here we are…; in pursuit, floating in the space of the unknown with trust, hope, love, faith, and openness to the miracles that come your way when you are on the path of the heart. There is more…there is always more, so until next time, be well.