Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Be a Dreamer

Dreamers were not allowed when I was growing up. This simple activity got me in trouble at school on more than one occasion when I was caught staring out the window (yes, I grew up back in the day when classrooms had windows).

Dreaming is one of the things that led me to reading, however, and that can’t be too bad. Can it? My parent’s home in Mesa was equipped with a swamp cooler and there were plenty of summer days when the weather outside was more tolerable than in the house.

During those times, I could be found perched in the large pecan tree in our front yard. It was my favorite spot on earth. Why, you ask? We had four pecan trees in our yard, but the one in front had a branch that forked, and I used that spot as my hideaway. I’d take a book there and read until someone made me come down.

I’d also people watch, because the tree was large and the branches overgrown with leaves in the summer. From my perch, I could see everything going on in my neighborhood—which was great for a junior detective, which I sometimes pretended to be.

To read is to dream, I think. As a child, when I read, I could be a pirate, or Maid Marian, or Heidi, or my favorite--Pipi Longstocking. It’s the same for me today. Whenever I read, I immerse myself into the novel and become part of it. Because of this, I’ve been to many faraway places and had a variety of experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Without dreams life would be rather mundane. It’s because I dared to dream that I became a writer. I’d have never done it otherwise. Because I dared to dream, I also became a watercolor artist. I’d have never done that either without my dreams.

I read a sign once that I’ve tried always to take to heart, it said, “A goal without hard work is merely a dream” So, in this sense, a dream is the beginning—a goal that’s thought of. When we add our hard work, our dreams can turn into reality, and I’ve proven that on many occasions.

I dreamed of writing for magazines, but it wasn’t until I worked at it that my dream became a reality. I had never won anything or received acclaim for my writing or art, and it wasn’t until I dreamed that I could that I dared to try. Although I’m no superstar, I have won several awards for both my writing and my art.

Not many people know that when I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a concert pianist. I’m not that good, but through my church I was able to fulfill this dream, too. I’ve played for soloists, choirs, and I’ve even played at a wedding and a funeral. I’m glad to be done with that dream though, because it scared me witless.

I think dreaming is a lost art. It’s something that they should teach in elementary school along with math and English. Our children and our society as a whole need to realize that dreaming is ok, it’s healthy, even. Let’s all be dreamers and dream that we’re successful at what we want to do, and then make it happen.


Valerie Ipson said...

I second everything you said--about reading and about dreaming. It took me awhile, but now I know there's nothing wrong with dreaming big.

Here's to dreams!!!

Chas Hathaway said...

Very good post! I think we are all dreamers to some extent. The difference is that some people are not afraid to give their dreams a chance, while others suppress them.

I often wonder why people are afraid to live their dreams. Is it because they fear failure? That may be part of it, but I think a bigger part is that they fear success.

Great post!

- Chas