I have this picture in my mind: that - one day - I will retire to the porch of a little farm house. The wind will blow and the grasses will sway and I'll hum and strum a guitar and flop my dusty, bare feet over the side of a chair and swing them to the beat. An apple pie will bake in the oven and quilts will wave on the clothesline. Children will scale trees and play tag and feed horses. There will be music and games and laughter. There will be fluffy beds and bedtime prayers and warm fires. There will be lullabies and Sunday lunches and midnight walks under star-splattered skies. There will be Christmas trees and family recipes and full tummies and loved-up hearts.
Places like this pull at me in a way I can hardly describe. This is somewhere in Kansas - far west Kansas hugging the Colorado line - and I blew by it yesterday only to make a sharp u-turn and end up right back in front of it, staring. The wind through the grass sounded like whispering - all around me - and the house itself seemed to sigh with stories and memories of decades well lived.
I don't just like old houses, apparently. I like sad old houses. I like the promises they keep and the possibilities they hold, if only someone would love them again.
I'd come close to giving away my world for a place like this. It sits, I noticed, about two miles down the road from a Mennonite community. (Is that what they're called: communities?) They don't get any more peaceful than this. At night I close my eyes and dream about the serenity and the satisfaction a place just like this would afford. I think of how busy and stressed and tired we all are. How our finances and relationships and health and time are all pushed to their limits. How - if we could just get our families back together and our priorities in perspective and our stuff... our debt-inducing junk... cast aside - how relieved and content we might all be.
Hmm. These are the things I think as I'm driving. These are the hopes my heart suffers as I live my dream for right now....
And that is the amazing thing about dreams, isn't it? The fear of not living your dream is worse than not actually living your dream. And the fear of reaching your dream and meeting disappointment is foolish. For dreams, once you come upon them, spark and split in two, leaving you with the piece finally realized and the start of a whole new dream just waiting to begin.