Archive | November 2014

A Dream Come True

When I was young my parents were my greatest supporters. They were always there to build me up, nurture me, and to tell me to go after my dreams. I imagine most parents follow this parenting technique…but someone how I always felt like I was lucky because “my parents” really meant it. Oh, I’m not saying that your parent was full of hot air and empty words… I’m just saying my parents really didn’t care if I was poor, as long as I was happy and living my dream. Five successful children later, I think they had the right parenting skills, if you know what I mean?

vsmith

vsmith

 

So the other day as I was driving along a country road near my home, I came across my favorite bend in the road. Now this bend is a rather scary one if you are unfamiliar with the road or driving a huge vehicle that is easily thrown into the oncoming one lane traffic. But as I was saying… I came across my favorite bend in the road, where the vision of a dream come true smacked me in the face. On a particularly sunny day, the site is even more breath-taking. There on the side of the road is someone’s dream… there is no other way to describe it. Nestled in the tree-line, in front of what used to be a corn pasture, now stands a new home and ranch with two well-fed horses. Oh, I know what you’re thinking… there’s lots of new homes with horses etc… But this one is different. You see, this property has sat undeveloped since Captain Smith arrived in Jamestown. Only farming tools have cultivated a nearby pasture, where in the early mornings and late evenings deer have huddled together nibbling on the remnants of a once thriving crop. But something happened before this particular day that must be shared. One morning while driving my “favorite country road,”out of the mist I noticed a large machine cutting down trees and I was stunned. All I could think was what would happen to the deer? Were more houses being built? It saddened me really, to think that my favorite bend in the road would not have that tranquil view I had come to love.

But boy was I surprised later! Remember that “dream” I was talking about…? You know, the one we are told to go after when we’re young? Well, someone decided to go after their dream on this particular spot. They built the most beautiful ranch imaginable for this cute little spot on my favorite bend in the road. Every day thereafter, when I would pass by the cleared out spot near the tree-line, I would watch as a family quickly built a picturesque home to live in. Then a winding driveway was forged through the woods to their garage. Ranch-styled fence

two horses in a field

courtesy of pixgood.com

posts were pounded into the ground one at a time until the once tall cornfield was encased. As they built it, I would slow down on the bend to catch a glimpse of the work, always marveling at the progress in such a short time. Then they were there, grazing like the deer had before them in the mist, two horses, one lighter and the other dark. They seemed to be part of a picture that only an artist could paint. I would smile each day as I passed them, trying not to run off the road looking at the horses and the family as they built the out-buildings, first an open-aired stall, then the shaded stall…and finally the barn that would keep the horses warm once the winter cold found it’s way to our state.

 

vsmith

vsmit

I don’t know what it is about this little ranch nestled in the bend of my favorite country road that makes me smile each time I pass by. Perhaps it is the simple beauty of it all, or maybe the fact that someone went after their dream and made it a reality. But there is one thing I do know… that every time I reach the bend in the road, it reminds me that life it short and I need to embrace the beauty around me. I need to remember my own dreams and find a way to make them come true even if it takes me the rest of my lifetime… For my parents were right, it doesn’t matter if I’m rich or poor, what matters is if I’m doing something that makes me happy. Right now I’m happy, I’m writing… and yes, I’m chasing my dream.

 

Advertisements

The Autumn Dog

IMG_2672

A walk in the woods…

She disappeared amongst the layer of fallen leaves; red, orange, yellow. I called her name but she stood still hoping to escape my eye in a game we played every fall. Moving in a slow turn to survey the forest floor I spied every inch, searching for a simple movement that would clue me into her whereabouts. But she was always very clever and could hold a stance longer than I could. My golden retriever was playing chameleon and she LOVED IT! Her beautiful blend of golden locks were the perfect color of autumn, and amongst the leaves she was invisible. I could only imagine what she was thinking as she held her pose as I surveyed the land before me. Did she think I was blind or just plain incompetent at finding a DOG amongst the vast forest floor? Every year it was the same…. the leaves would fall and my trusty companion would bound into the woods to frolic amongst the once plush green foliage of spring and summer. It was her favorite season. And now as I think about it, it makes me smile to remember her and our long walks in the cool air.

It was autumn that brought about my best writing… the stories that would fill pages on pages of the adventures of a group of animals in our special woods. Sequoia, my golden, made autumn come alive when all around life was being extinguished with each chilling whip of wind. She would bound through the leaves in search of her animal friends, sniff out voles, and discover new additions to the small woods behind our house. Our walks were leisurely strolls as I wrote stories in my head and strained my eye site to find my partner hiding behind tall white oaks and discarded piles of leaves. We marveled at the purple blossoms on nearby bushes that suddenly arrived when all others shriveled up. We experienced vultures eyeing us from their perches far above us and found ourselves wondering why they stayed for the winter.

IMG_0638

Max missing Sequoia…

 

As the leaves began to turn their rustic colors, our lawn too,would take on a new look of clutterness…but  Sequoia and I embraced the joy of raking leaves and hiding within them. I taught her to run and jump in them just like I had done with my two children and my niece, from California, who had never had the joy of living through a real autumn. Later, my golden would teach her best friend Max to play in the leaves as well. They would run in circles, throwing themselves into the piles and coming up with a coat of leaves instead of hair. They were silly and I marveled at their child-like antics as I rebuilt their leaf piles. 

 

Sequoia is gone now, like the leaves in autumn. But the memories of her remain close to my heart. And as I grab Max from his owner for a romp in the woods, I know we will both be searching for our best friend who still runs with the wind and is …invisible amongst the leaves of autumn.

2012 001