There is something that only those closest to me really know, one of my lifelong dreams.
I dream of living in a simple little house by an ocean or sea, preferable where it is warm and sunny, and spending my life writing, reading, raising my kids with my other half, and living in peace. The dream has obviously changed over the years, I used to dream about living in a cabin on the beach alone, now it has my family in it too, and in some ways it has become more attainable and in others less.
I am not one for seeking success in the form of fame and glory, or making more money than another person. I don't want to rule over anyone or take over anything. I would love to be able to change the world in some way, one word at a time, but I would also love to do that from my beach house.
I'm not looking for a huge sprawling mansion. Just a little house in a place where we can afford to work normal hours and live comfortably. By living comfortably I mean having fresh food on the table, enough to pay rent/mortgage and bills and enough to save for later so that the girls don't have to worry about us when we get old. I would even say enough to put them through college too, but by the time they get there I don't think anyone will be able to afford any form of higher education.
I used to dream of going off to other countries, writing about wars and conflicts and coups, taking photos of other cultures and traditions, adding experiences and stories to my already colourful life, and trying to make changes where I could. I used to dream of walking barefoot on every beach in the world, leaving a little bit of myself behind at every stop so that I always had an excuse to come back again. I still dream of taking off to a destination unknown, seeing things through my eyes and translating images and impressions into words over and over again. I used to dream about doing my bit about making this world a better place. And here and there I hope I have, and I hope I continue to.
Our beach house will have a few bright rooms, a quiet room to create, and loud rooms to be heard, a place where one will always feel at home. There will be delicious smells of freshly baked bread and cookies coming from the kitchen and the salty ocean breeze will constantly makes its rounds through the rooms; there will always be a view onto sand and sea, sun and moon; it is a place where you always feel safe and calm and loved. A real home for me is a place that feels completely lived in with its mismatched furniture and well-worn chairs, with photos and artwork on the walls and random children’s scribbles behind doors. It is a place of laughter and tears, of thoughts and dreams. A place where you can sit on the porch at night, count the stars and listen to the waves roll over the sand. A place that holds you close and where you always feel you belong.
I’ve been dreaming, dreaming, dreaming about this beach home for so long now, it has become an integral part of my future. The only problem is that the future is always the future until you make it your present. Magical things don’t just happen, you have to find a way to make them appear, sometimes taking a lot of work and hope and tears. Now that my dream has become a shared dream, one that my family also wants, I hope that this dream will be waiting for us to jump on be right around the next corner. We are going to work as hard as we can to make it possible, for us and for the girls. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big and dreaming far, it is what keeps us going on the bad days and gives us an extra skip on the good days. And on those in-between days? It just keeps us dreaming.
I dream of a beach and a little house, hibiscus flowers as big as my head and coconuts hanging from the trees. I dream of warm sand in my toes, a life barefoot, and a sky stretching further than I can see. I dream so hard that I can practically touch it. Almost there, not far now.
This piece originally appeared on From The Inside. Many of my short stories involve the beach in some way or another. Of Hearts and Sea Glass, Of Instability and Growing Roots, and Autumn's Place are a few that I have up the on blog.