This is another December short writing exercise. The topic is “dreams.”
Dreams. Everyone has them. A few of them come true. Most don’t. Some do and then you wish they hadn’t because your dream isn’t quite what you hoped it would be.
When I was small, I dreamed of having a horse. My first pony was a little paint Shetland named Bimbo.
As I matured, so did my dreams…a bit. I wanted a family, a house and a horse, preferably on a ranch with a man who adored me. I didn’t get the ranch or the adoring man, but I, well he, got horses. Lord, did he get horses. I bought clothes at the Salvation Army and he bought more horses.
Through the years, I also dreamed of being a published writer. Oh, I know a person should be content to write for themself and all that, but publication meant I not only wrote, but wrote well enough to be accepted by professionals and readers alike. It’s like wanting to be a cowboy or wanting to be a world champion cowboy. I wanted to be a world champion.
At some point in time, I gave up on part of my dream and moved on, but I still dreamed of writing and having my own house. In an ideal world, it would be a house with a bit of acreage so I could adopt a couple of retired race horses and let them live out their days. I would adopt a couple of retired military dogs and let them live out their days and, of course, I would rescue a few cats from the shelter and…let them live out their days. The house would be big enough so the kids could visit with their families or friends could escape. Big or little, it would be my house and I would…live out my days.
I even had a plan on how to accomplish this. I would go to Afghanistan for a few years and save up all my money. Then I’d buy a house that no one could ever take away from me and I’d write.
I’ve pretty much given up on Afghanistan. The accident at work, while not serious, is serious enough I can’t pass a physical with most companies. Things might turn around, but I doubt it.
I looked at my dream box the other day. I shook it a bit because it felt very light, as if it were empty, but then I heard something rattling around, ever so gently.
I opened it up, and there in a corner, a tiny dream looked back at me with wonder-filled eyes. “I’m still here,” she said. “I gave you dragons and warriors. Dancers and bards entertained nobles and traded secrets. Pirates sailed into your heart. Demon lords threatened the world we built together. Cattle barons forged empires and fell in love.”
I reached into the box and held my hand out for that tiny dream. She fluttered her wings once and stepped onto my palm. “Do you remember the crystal bridge?” she asked.
I sighed with contentment and longing. “Yes, I loved how Maija escaped across it.”