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I’m a dreamer. I love to let my mind run wild and free. To let it explore new places and new ideas. Wondering. Wishing. Anticipating. Planning. Pondering. So much of my regular everyday is such hard work — cooking and cleaning for our busy family, running laps around a hectic restaurant, driving here and there — my imagination becomes my refuge. I dream of quiet woods, shadowy and mysterious. Of the sun rising one ray at a time above dark tree tops. I imagine bright pinewood floors and the smell of wood smoke. I envision freshly laid eggs warm in my hands and sultry earth beneath my nails. I long for time to rest and simply be. In my mind I am completely free.

I challenge myself to stay in the present, to be mindful. To allow the mundane to share its precious magic in so many small moments. I do sometimes succeed. Washing dishes in warm soapy water with steam lapping at my chin is simple and peaceful. The rhythm of crochet calms my nerves, relaxes my soul and nurtures my creative spirit. Reading with one of my little people is uniquely treasured — sharing language and art and stories together. A good laugh with friends, quiet conversations whispered in the dark, hot baths and pruney toes, yes the present is good. I am dedicated to my practice of being present, but oh, I so often catch myself drifting off. Floating.

Can one dream as I do and also remain rooted in the present? How can one balance such vivid imaginations with the bright and amazing world in which they breathe and eat and work everyday? I have no answers. I choose to continue my practice of mindfulness. I choose to continue to dream.

I am both here and far away.

I remain grateful for the here and now. For the laughter of my children and for the meals that fill my belly and my soul with love. For hugs and kisses and silly grins. I also remain grateful for my dreams and my imaginings, for they pull me forward. They inspire me to move through even the darkest of days toward that sunrise. I can carry another tray, fold another load of laundry, clean another toilet, endure the suburbs for a while longer, just so long as I carry my dreams of the forest and chickens and earth and wood smoke with me. As long as I continue to dream.