As I huff and puff through the dunes heading home from my morning beach walk, I stop and reflect upon a sign recently erected at a local seaside resort.
I chuckle when I notice that the author is Henry David Thoreau. Given that he was a man who believed in simple living, it seems ironic that the most posh club in town would be quoting him. Still, reading this sentiment has me pondering what it really means to dream. I'm stunned when I realize that I can't recall when last I actually had a dream, or dared to dream for that matter, and I'm wondering if dreaming is state of mind left only for youth.
My pace quickens as I'm anxious now to research the very word dream. Running through my head is the part about going confidently. I wonder if you need confidence to even fathom a dream? What's more, as we grow older or grow up, why does our very confidence seem to diminish?
Once home I pour through the dictionary and discover that to dream or be a dreamer means to be an idealist, a romantic, a visionary.
Dreams occur involuntarily, momentary inspirations that arrive in split second images or ideas and disappear before you even get a chance to harness them. They seem to be random thoughts that enlighten a mood and tease you to a higher level of desire or consciousness But the best part is that dreams are ours for the taking. You need only be open to the fact that you are entitled to your dream to begin to experience hope.
John Lennon certainly thought so when he penned the lyrics to Imagine, his refrain beckoning all of us to be dreamers......You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you will join us, and the world will be one.
And Martin Luther King's, I Have a Dream speech, was based on just that-to have aspirations for a different world and the courage to go confidently in that direction.
Sometimes we can be surprised, as Bubba Watson was, when he won the coveted Master's Golf Tournament. When asked if his dream had come true he answered: "Actually no. I've never had a dream go this far so I can't really say it's a dream come true."
In any case, dreams are not goals and they don't have to be grand. What's more, most are attainable if you don't set the bar too high. Besides,the opposite of having dreams, of course, is staying with reality and who wants to be there!
So, that takes me back to my old friend Thoreau. I notice in my tattered copy of Walden the entirety of the quote that got me thinking in the first place ended with a jolt: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined. You will meet with a success unexpected in the common hours of your day."
By dreaming, expanding our horizons, being open to what could be, the unexpected is bound to eventually happen. Thoreau insists that we simply have to be alive and awake, unhurried and present. Although I have big dreams that involve travel and adventure, it will be in the daily endeavors that my dreams will come true-those adventures that will keep me from congealing and provide me with, as yet, fresh dreams.
So I am going confidently in new directions and I urge you to do the same. For as Thoreau espoused,...'When I come to die I do not want to discover that I have not lived."