“Make ‘living’ your dream and you won’t have to dream about living.”
Our family gatherings have always been filled with nostalgic glimpses into a much simpler life. A life shown to us young’uns through the many stories that would always be told of an old shack hidden from the world behind tall weeds, thick patches of blackberry brambles and an old cedar tree that seemed to be the focal point of all the tales that started with I remember when.
I always listened with a sort of awe as my brothers and sisters reminisced about walking backwoods paths, carrying water from the well or hanging the laundry out to dry in the scent of summer wildflowers. It appeared, that they lived in a place where politics, war and hate was not the daily bread and money, greed and desire were not all consuming. Where life, love and family were more than just words placed on a piece of paper.
They all spoke with tear filled eyes about my mother and father and how they had been the anchor to that life. How they never wavered in their routine and as each one of my siblings sprang into life, my father sat on the porch and spit ‘Day’s Work’ tobacco juice down his chin while my mother snapped beans, hummed softly, and smiled. Even throughout the years, as old friends passed on and one-by-one each of their children found lovers and moved away, they remained steadfast and refused to yield to sorrow.
Pleasing images would spread through my mind like butter melting on a warm toast as I imagined such a life. But as I listened to all those stories, I realized that they always told of the good things in life. As I recall, I can’t remember a single bad thing that ever happened to them. I couldn’t help but wonder if they ever had dreams of city lights and all night diners; of drive-through this and 50% off that? Did they fantasize about having a dollar in their pocket, more meat on the table, or just being able to visit a doctor when ailments became more than home-made remedies could fix?
Or perhaps they truly were living their dream so there was no need to dream about living.