In the early days of our relationship, when we were teenagers with the whole world to explore and our whole lives ahead of us, Mike and I would lie in each other’s arms in his little bedsit and dream up the adventures we would have.
I remember so vividly gazing out the window at the blue sky on an early Spring day, just like today, when the Springtime air held so many promises and lit a fire of possibility within, and listening to him talk about the magic of Africa, the red dust, the animals, the breathtaking sunsets…. he told me we would go there, that I would see it for myself. I’d never left the UK before, never been on a plane, I had nothing in my history or memory to model this dream on or to suggest that it was available to me, but I had a big imagination and an unquenchable thirst for life, and I could feel the essence of that dream with such clarity it was like I was remembering the future.
And I was… for a few months later there we were, on a life changing adventure in Zimbabwe, cruising down the Zambezi river, gazing upon that heart-lifting, breathtaking sunset with my very own eyes – on road trips across the vast African plains in the back of his grandfather’s bumpy truck, watching elephants cross the road and witnessing landscapes more beautiful than I could have dreamed. Endless afternoons in hotel gardens with African song and dance, eating, drinking, watching cheeky money’s sneaking into hotel rooms and lifting guest’s belongings, at Mike’s granny’s house where avocado and corn grows in the garden and where his grandfather’s tales could entertain me for hours. Walking along the Victoria falls. Mesmerising. Visiting shanty towns where I was a strange specatcle for those gorgeous little kids sitting in their shorts at the side of the road, their big brown eyes full of wonder. Dancing in nightclubs far more funky than anywhere I’ve been since. Searching for hippos at sunrise at lake Kariba, sleeping on the night train to Botswana, exploring caves with ancient history, climbing hills with sights I will never forget as long as my heart beats.
That was just the beginning. Many many more days we have spent wrapped in each other’s arms, dreaming up our adventures – from the beautiful large, light, greenery surrounded home by the beach we would own, to the children would will fill it with, the places we would explore, the holidays we would take, the things we would create, the dreams we would fulfill, the love we would experience.
Many of those dreams we have already achieved, some are a work in progress. Sometimes we get distracted – sometimes for years – forgetting to spend time dreaming, getting caught up instead in responding to that which is, forgetting that it’s what we’ve called in, what we’ve created, and it’s all part of the process of the ever unfolding dream. Then we remember, and we hold each other, and we dream some more.
Some dreams come easily, some take more time – it’s easy to create that which is in your framework of experience, easy to fill a house with children when that was how you grew up, not so easy to create your dream detached house by the beach when in childhood you lived on a council estate…. but that contrast gives you power, the power of desire, the longing to experience something more, it’s what allowed this young girl who’d never seen foreign soil to believe in the dream of visiting Africa with such a passion that she constantly asked her amazing boyfriend for more details, how does it look, how does it feel, how does it sounds, what are the smells and the rhythym of life? She asked for more and more until she knew it in her heart and she knew it was on her path to experience this, as sure as she was breathing.
The important part is the dream. Whether it’s an adventure abroad, a business you want to create, a dream home – the dream is what matters. That’s where the magic is. When you can dream it so vividly that you can taste it and the pleasure comes not from needing to experience it, but from the dream itself. When you begin to embody that dream and live in a way that every cell in your body IS already living it, that’s when you come alive. And THAT’S when your dreams begin to come alive, when your imagination and your passion begin to merge with the very fabric of your reality to weave something even more magical into your life – opportunities, invitations, possibilities begin to appear as if by magic.
Dreaming together is our hobby, it always has been. Even now with four children and busy lives, even now we own our own home and I run my own business, even now our eldest is older than we were when we had those first dreams. We go for walks by the sea and talk of Carribean shores far away, of hammocks and white sand, of laughter drifting on the wind and samba music on the beach. We go for a bike ride and wander through the streets of private houses by the beach, spacious, light, airy, surrounded by greenery. We see ourselves there, living there, watching the childen play in the garden. We don’t need to actually live there to feel the magic of the dream… the magic is already within us, it infuses our lives.
We lie in bed as the sun rises in the blue sky and we say, ‘what do you want to dream of now?’, and we describe them to each other, our dreams, and then we say ‘how does that dream feel?’… and when we can capture that feeling and become alive with it, we get up and go live our day, live our life, the life we are dreaming up one day at a time.
Keep dreaming, it matters.