Dreaming in the wild.
I've been thinking about the big dreams a lot. As a kid growing up, the dreams I had were vague but grandiose, a ballerina, an actress, a writer, an artist, often punctuated by get married and have kids. I now have reached- and surpassed! - the get-married-and-have-kids part... in a sense, that part is easy. It's almost inevitable. That part unfolded as effortlessly as falling in love.
But now I am nearing forty, working a corporate day job and yearning for something else. Not to stray away from the get-married-and-have-kids part of my life, because that part's my favorite. What I yearn to move on from is the sinking into the office year five days a week and feeling like I am wasting my life. The truth is, I am NOT wasting my life, like, at all- but when there is more on the horizon it's hard not to get over the fact that you haven't reached the finish line just yet.
What I have learned about myself and my family in the last two years is that nature breathes life into my soul. As time goes on I realize more and more how much happier I am in the wild. By "wild" I simply mean: outside. Not stuck on a computer helping people reset their passwords all day. By the way: you don't need a password to enjoy nature.
My big dream as of lately is moving somewhere where we have even more access to the outdoors in our own backyard. While on paper that dream is a long way's off, my spidey-sense feels it's closer on the horizon than I previously thought. I am a total dreamer. A dream recently one night made me feel even more like those dreams were in reach: I had our family had moved into an old farmhouse on a eucalyptus-lined dirt road. This dirt road with trees was the most vivid part of the whole thing! The home was tucked up against the foothills & our property was acres wide, filled with old trees & places to build forts made of sticks, find animal bones, & collect rocks of all sorts. There was an old oak in the front yard with a tire swing, a red barn, & a tiny brook running through the property. Across the dirt road with another old farmhouse, with a little boy my Wilde's age. They were best friends & would grow up together. At one point I called the kids for dinner, but I couldn’t find them for a while. Calling & banging on the triangle like they do in old western movies, eventually the kids came running from far off, dirty from a day’s worth of adventure.
Okay, so maybe that's a little spacey and dreamy- the yearn for small town life on a farm, surrounded by nature, dirt, trees, the big sky. What's new right? But as we drive into the hills near our Southern California home and see my kids come alive, see myself through new eyes... I know that the hills are where we belong.
The good news is, nothing drastic really must change right now. We can still hop in the car for five minutes to be immersed in nature. We can walk there. Heck, we live on a quarter acre and can do some great bird watching from the back porch. We get to see owls and hawks and a rainbow of feathered birds outside. Our pecan tree feeds a dozen squirrels. I put in many pollinator attracting plants in our yard to watch the butterflies and moths while we eat breakfast. The garden is home to small raspberry and strawberry beds that the kids can help themselves to in the season. Our pluot tree is fun to climb. The backyard has a long stretch of grass that begs to be run through on warm sunny days (just watch out for dog poop!). The dream of open spaces is there, but the in between is just as nice too.