The art of dreaming

Published 10:58 am Wednesday, July 10, 2013

“She asked where he lived.

‘Second (star) to the right,’ said Peter, ‘and then straight on ‘til morning.”

— J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

As you read this, there is one thing concerning yourself about which I have full confidence. First, what I do not know. No clue as to your lot in life. Married? Single? Retired? Jealous? Angry? Bitter? Carefree? Red hair? Bow-legged? Arrogant? Ambitious? Complacent? Passionate? Spontaneous? Methodical? Ticklish? Not a clue.

But this I know about you. You were once a child. You were once a child who opened your eyes for the first time and took in the whole wide world. And you dreamed. Oh, yes, you dreamed!

You dreamed of walking on rainbows and touching stars. You dreamed of talking trees and smiling unicorns. Of chocolate oceans and cotton candy mountains. Of blue-skinned cyclops and yellow-bellied, three-headed tap-dancing elephants. You dreamed of riding a white horse, scooping that beautiful girl out of the arms of those bank robbers and riding off into a fading sunset as she gazed into your eyes. Of being that teacher or that missionary who changed the world for a thousand years to come. Of touchdowns and homeruns and three pointers at the buzzer. You could be anything! The world was just outside your fingertips! You could fly or talk to animals or swim across the ocean. The entire world was one big playground begging you to come and jump in! Do cannonballs and can-openers and belly flops! Roll in it and step in it and savor the aromas!

Dream on, my friend, no matter your age. The world needs more dreamers. You were created as such. I know beneath that thick-crusted, life hardened, skeptic oriented, cynical skin there lies a dreamer in us all, desperate to escape and come alive once again.

Why did we all grow up?

REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is