Pursuing a dream

Posted by on November 14, 2011

I’m currently reading a wise little book that has become wildly popular in recent years: The  Alchemist.  It is the tale of Santiago, a thoughtful Spanish shepherd on a quest; a tale that is glorious in its beauty and simplicity underscored by profound insights into humanity and nature.

“He owned a jacket, a book that he could trade for another, and a flock of sheep. But most important, he was able every day to live out his dreams.”

This reminds me that many of the things I think I need or must have, are the very things that weigh me down…things that come with a cost that is far greater than I know or appreciate. Because the more we have, the more we have to lose…and the harder it is to pursue one’s high-in-the-sky dreams.

I’ve been interviewing immigrants for the past few days – young people who have come to New Brunswick because it is fine and welcoming place to raise a family. Because of our quality of life, our landscapes, our wild spaces; not our affluence or industry. One young man told me that he had researched news articles and wanted to come here because he had read about how people helped one another. “If someone loses a home to fire, their neighbours help them,” he told me. “I thought that is a place I would like to live.”

I was in awe that people from other countries might be evaluating us and watching how we treat one another through news reports. And humbled that my home province scored high on the compassion scale.

I’ve been listening as one by one, they’ve told me of their struggles with poverty as they doggedly pursued an education that would allow them to create a life for themselves. Of how they came with little and survived on less. And what they had left behind and risked to fulfill their dreams.  With not one complaint, because they have been on a mission for a dream.  And the obstacles have helped them build character and experience.

And I begin to think how often it is that our preoccupation with acquisitions keeps us distracted from pursuit of our own inner dreams. Or that we give up too easily when the road gets rough. Or that we get so lost in our quest for wealth and success, or the perfect home and family, that we have marched right by the beauty of the treasure that lies at our feet.

“The world was huge and inexhaustible; he had only to allow his sheep to set the route for awhile and he would discover other interesting things. The problem is that they don’t even realize they are walking a new road every day. They don’t see that the fields are new and the seasons change.”

I have found such peace and joy in my contemplation of beavers and butterflies, in the songs of the wind and seals,  in the sun’s slant through the poplars and the harvest moon’s rise above the cedars, and the rosy dawn calls of the mourning dove and the heart-stopping screech of a fox in the darkness.

It wasn’t always like this…for many years I was too pre-occupied to pay attention. But when I make time to revel in such things, what need have I for acquisition? All I need in that moment is more time to listen. More time to explore.

I know I have to work to earn a living. I cannot flit and dance through fields of dandelions every day in the pursuit of personal bliss, but I can take the time to note that the fields are changing colour and texture, and the smell of rain is in the air.

And in those moments of awareness, I grow a deeper appreciation for what is most important. And in that moment, the treasure beneath my feet is more than enough and my thoughts can rest upon my dreams.

I am grateful this week for the luxuries of :

261. time to spend with my sick and aging Callie-dog: to lie with her and  rub her aching joints, to make her special food to tempt her appetite.

262. having my husband back home again after a week of missing the comfort and warmth of his presence.

263. selling books with fellow authors at an energetic, busy art and craft show

264. balmy November days and lingering leaves

265. brilliant, sun-drenched crimson

266. hearing an unusual fox call echoing through the dark…listen here (#8) to hear the sound.

267. the final offerings of garden carrots and beets

268. honest talks with cherished friends and the strength of personal stories

269. a full and brilliant moon rising; awakening drenched with its light

270. accepting that we all make mistakes








4 Valued Thoughts on Pursuing a dream

  1. Carol Steel

    This is a particularly fine and lovely piece. The photos are stunningly simple and arresting in their beauty. The words…well, you are a wordsmith…they touch my heart and inspire my dreams. Thank you for this!

  2. Carolynn

    So true. I feel profoundly blessed to have the Grace to just rest and enjoy God’s bounty right now. The time will come again when I’ll have to find a way to support myself, but for now, I’m able to relax and breathe and watch the snowflakes accumulate on the lawn.

    Sending love and warm hugs to you & Callie. Fill yourself up with her while you can. She looks like a sweet, sweet girl. xoxo


  3. Jane Tims

    Hi. We saw a fox last weekend. He was sleek and red, and had the bushiest tail ever. He looked back at us before he entered the woods. I wonder what he saw when he looked at us? Jane

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