Friday, March 2, 2012

Pinning My Dreams

Recently, lulled by an hour of boredom on a windy afternoon, I gave in to peer pressure and created an account on Pinterest, the virtual bulletin board through which folks trade craft ideas, recipes, and dreams. I initially avoided the site because I abhor crafting. I peeked in the door because I needed a good hummus recipe. I pulled up a chair because I rediscovered dreaming.

I used to dream. Long ago and far away, in a small town in South Dakota, Daddy had an office in our basement. In that office, he created bookshelves out of cement blocks and long plywood boards. Yellow magazines lined those shelves, marching along in a most orderly fashion according to their publication date. For years, my parents subscribed to National Geographic Magazine, and they kept every edition. Every once in a while, perhaps on a Sunday afternoon, we would go on a trip.

"Where do you want to go today?" my parents would ask.
"Hmm...China sounds good," I would answer. Or maybe Alaska, or Egypt, Antarctica.

And off we went. We combed through indices for articles, gathered stacks of magazines, and began our journey, photograph by photograph.

Grand Tetons, Wyoming
We packed those yellow magazines in the back of a UHaul before long and drove off on a real adventure to the deep south. Two years later we moved again, then again. Eventually, we replaced the cement blocks with real bookshelves, the magazines with Google.

In the freedom of early adulthood, I lived a few of my dreams. After all, at nineteen or twenty-something, roadblocks cease to exist. I wanted to hike in the Grand Tetons, so on my day off one summer I stuck out my thumb and hitched a ride. I dreamed of Alaskan tundra, so I found a job and hopped on a plane. Later, I ached for fresh horizons and cozy New England villages with covered bridges and white steeples. This time, I packed my own UHaul and shared the dream with my young son.

Notre Dame Cathedral
That young son grew up, as did his brothers and sister. Our small apartment gave way to a house and piles of things. I built and buried a career.  Life happened. I reveled in Christmas snows, sobbed at petty betrayals, gloried in mountaintop views, but I forgot to dream of faraway places.

And then, I gave in to peer pressure and pulled out the thumbtacks. My "Recipes" bulletin board looked lonely, so I added "Favorite Books" and then "Favorite Places." The photos of dreams realized reminded me of dreams set aside--dreams of Norwegian fjords, European cathedrals and national parks still unvisited. It seems the more I give vision to my dreams, the more capacity I find to dream, and those dreams in turn bring the lightness of possibility to life here and now.

If you promise not to tell, I will confess a momentary gratitude for peer pressure and silly social media.


  1. This is a good reminder for me. It is easy for moms to forget we have dreams as we are helping our children achieve theirs.
    Your dreams are pretty awesome, we should contemplate a joint adventure!

  2. Love this. Your hitchhiking is daring, your thoughts inspiring. I loved hearing about your dream places like the Fjords. I didn't know that about ou! Thanks for reminding me to dream.