Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Do Not Dream of Faraway Places

A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead and dreams of a faraway place.  A traveler on the plane sees the farmhouse below and dreams of home. ~Robert Brault

As a kid, I was not much of a dreamer of traveling to faraway places.  Up until my late twenties, the only places that I had traveled outside of Iowa was a road trip out west when I was 10 and a couple of high school field trips to Chicago.

Compared to today's standards of travel, my exposure to the world when I was young was very modest.  We were not a family of means, nor big dreamers.  Just farmers, small town folks, living on the salary of the menfolk who scraped out a living either from the land or other menial labor.  Travels on planes or trains or to large cities were for wealthy people.  Not us.

So I did not dream of faraway places. 

Even on the road trip out west, from the backseat of the car with my grandmother, I barely lifted my eyes from the pages of my books as we drove through mountains and canyons.  My grandmother would frequently chastise me for not viewing the countryside as we passed, even taking away my books as we drove through the Grand Canyon.  A spectacular sight that I found boring and uninteresting compared to the words in my book.  My disinterest so frustrated her.

Sorry Grandma Murry.

Of course, now as an adult, I more than understand her attempt to broaden my scope of the world beyond our little Iowa farm.  But back then, I had no interest. 

I don't know why.

I suppose the words in books brought the outside world to me.  I lost myself in between the pages to whatever adventure lied within.  Even though our lives were not filled with riches or travel or excitement, it did not matter.  All of that could be found in a book.

So I did not dream of faraway places.

I simply read.

Today, I have returned home after being away for a week.  From my writing desk window, I occasionally see planes fly high above me.  I imagine families and friends excited about their destinations.  Kids fidgety and fighting and crying.  I also think of the business traveler who is saddened to have left their families that morning, missing a ball practice or school play later in the day.

Over the last three decades of my life, I have had the good fortune to have traveled across the U.S. and to far away places across the seas.  I have seen ancient ruins and rain forests, been on safaris and sailed the ocean.

But never a site fills my heart with such warmth and glee, as when my eyes set upon my home.

I still do not dream of faraway places.

Instead, I write of faraway places within my stories, hoping to mesmerize the reader, as I had been in my youth, when grand canyons pass by.

Thanks for stopping by,
missing the mom gene