“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. . . .
Henry David Thoreau – On Walden Pond
Do you have dreams? Not the kind that come during those long hours when you’re sleeping, but dreams of the future, dreams that speak of places you’d like to go, things you’d like to do, and the person you’d like to be?
As a child, one of my favorite songs was “Happy Talk” from the musical, South Pacific. In this lilting little song, a very wise old woman taught:
You gotta have a dream
‘Cause if you don’t have a dream,
How you ever gonna have a dream come true?
The simplicity — and the truthfulness — of these words truly struck a chord in my heart. Even then, I knew my dream. I wanted to write, to share stories with others, to pick up words and put them down on paper in lovely strings of sentences.
Of course, over the years, there were other dreams, as well. Growing up is a time that’s filled with all sorts of wild and crazy ideas. Adolescence and young adulthood bring new varieties of dreams, too.
I’ve pursued — and achieved — a number of different dreams throughout my life. Some have fallen by the wayside as I’ve realized they weren’t true dreams but mere whims. Others have been successfully attained and then discarded. Yes, it’s true. Sometimes our dreams prove less satisfying than we once believed them to be.
Or maybe it’s that the true pleasure comes from seeking our dreams, from the day to day efforts to follow our imagination, from the ongoing act of creating what we desire. Maybe that’s why some dreams take forever…and that’s the way it should be.
I am living my dream of writing. I come to MLWR — my little writing room — each day and lose myself in the pleasure of telling stories, immersing myself in the lives of characters from other times and places. I grab words from the air, watch them appear before my eyes, and I smile as my thoughts take on lives of their own.
My dream, however, is far from finished. I dream each day of writing new stories, of learning more about the art and craft of wordsmithing. I dream of reaching more readers, of having my stories shared and enjoyed by many.
Yes, it’s an ongoing dream, and like Thoreau counseled, I will continue to move in the direction of that dream. There is no greater reward than doing what we love and living a life that inspires us.