Oh, dreams. They are made up of hard work and good ideas and hope.
Many moons ago our first dream was a camp in the woods. We bought cabin books and magazines. Searched for land. Studied kits and plans for cabins. Crunched numbers. Saved, and saved. I imagined driving up to our camp, kids in tow, a giant hammock waiting for us to sit and swing in. We lived in Cape Cod then, a new young family of just four. Property was still affordable to average people. Northern Maine was our hope. It kept our hearts happy somehow, this little dream of ours.
The timing wasn't right though. Instead of leaving the military to enter the civilian sector of the workforce, we chose to stay in. The wanderlust call was too great, we wanted to see more of the country. Job security and health benefits played a role in that decision too. Ohhh practicality….
Time carried on. Our family grew. And grew…..
The first dream slipped away a little. How could we buy land if we didn't know where we would live every 3 years? East Coast, Alaskan Coast, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes. We have called each of these places home over the last decade and a half….
But we kept saving. In 2009 we put that chunk of money down on our first home. It was in suburbia on one fifteenth of an acre. It felt so far from the dream that started the savings account. This is what being a grown-up is like sometimes.
As we pulled up carpet and painted walls and tiled floors we kept dreaming….
What if we lived in town and created an urban homestead academy? Taught people to keep chickens, brew beer & can tomatoes?
What if we bought a Volkswagen bus and sold soup and rice bowls and bubbly tea from it.
What about a sailboat? A yurt? Off the grid living?
An old beaten up farmhouse with a writer's retreat? I'd serve them scones with ridiculous amounts butter, studded with raspberries from the backyard and huge fresh salads with spicy greens and local cheese for lunch.
Do we still want that camp?
Can we really live working part time in our 40's?
Are we crazy?
Four years later we sold that house and moved to this one. It feels a little closer to the original plan, but it's a high cost area and has a hefty mortgage that cannot be maintained if we want to work part time in the near future. The savings account has dwindled significantly from home ownership. (damn that grown-up thing again.)
But I'm stubborn. I can't give this one up. So, the dreaming continues…
I don't want to live too far from community. I'd like running water and internet service of some sort. Joe wants a tractor. And a donkey. I'm not sure about that last one. I want rows and rows of flowers and herbs. More beehives & chickens. A homestead easy enough to leave in the care of someone else for a weekend getaway, but still just big enough to provide us with a root cellar full of nourishment to last through winters. A place nearby to push our kayaks in for a paddle. Simple, humble, affordable housing. Does this exist? It's not much and a whole lot all at the same time.
Nothing is held too hard and fast. I know things can change. What feels right now may be completely wrong later. An opportunity we never knew existed could be hanging out for just the right moment to show itself. It might sound wishy-washy, but I like to think of it as open-minded. In the meantime I put my thinking cap on. Scrape pennies from our budget into the savings account. Pay off debt. Wistfully swoon over property listings of the aforementioned broken-down-farm.
Hope. Plan. Dream. Repeat.
My soul needs dreams. Yours too. Dream, and dream big. Be brave. Write it down. Make it art. Sing it. Say it out loud. Manifest it, in some way….. one tiny piece at a time until you are holding it on your hands.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~Mary Oliver