This I Believe

Jeanne - Ascutney, Vermont
Entered on March 2, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: carpe diem
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I believe in my childhood dreams. At 48 years of age, my heart palpitates, I stutter, and I jump up and down, when one of my childhood dreams nears fruition. The passion for my childhood dreams began when I was six years old.

In first grade, I read a book about Thomas Edison, and dreamed of becoming an inventor. This led to Saturday garbage picking excursions. I collected toasters, radios, pans, light bulbs, etc. This assortment would be used for an invention. In third grade, I dreamed of traveling to African jungles. I planned to bring home a chimpanzee. By sixth grade, I dreamed of becoming a scientist after seeing my first paramecium floating under a microscope. Throughout childhood I visited my Aunt Kathleen’s home in Bondville, Vermont. I dreamed of living there, across from the Capen’s hay field and riding Jill, their one eyed horse. Speeding down the “Running Hill” behind her house (swinging from young saplings along the way), riding along dirt roads, climbing through Autumn’s painted maple trees, all of this filled my childhood dream of living in Vermont. At age 15, in a desperate attempt to live in Vermont, I asked my parents if I could be a foster child there. This attempt failed, but the dream persisted for years. By age 38, I worked any overtime to contribute to my “Barn Fund”. I wanted a barn in Vermont, not necessarily with a home, a barn alone would do.

Where am I today among my childhood dreams? I moved to Vermont this summer to Weathersfield Bow. The barn being prepared for a horse and, according to my dreams it will be a Morgan. I didn’t make it to Africa, yet, but I have been to the jungles of Costa Rica twice during my studies in biology. I don’t have a pet chimpanzee; I learned that would be cruel. But, I have watched troops of howler monkeys in the mango trees of Costa Rica. As for becoming a scientist, I’m a biologist. Although I’m not a patented inventor, I manage to create inventions with ordinary objects. Inventiveness inspired me to use bubble gum to temporarily hold parts together in my old Volkswagen engine. It has taught me that there are many uses for paper clips, clothes pins, rubber bands, white out, clear nail polish, aluminum foil, toothpicks, and, of course, duct tape.

These childhood dreams magically appeared. Nor did they occur exactly as I imagined. They required work and perseverance, and the realization that, just maybe, something better was in store for me than I could imagine. The beauty of my childhood dreams was the belief they were within my reach; there was no doubt.

A week after moving to Vermont this summer, I read a bumper sticker, “Live your Dreams Now”. I suppose that’s what I’m doing. My childhood dreams keep unfolding in unimaginable ways. I’ll keep my heart palpitating, speech stuttering, and feet aloft by believing in my childhood dreams.