About 15 years ago I mapped out a clear image of what I wanted for my life. It involved a small cottage, in a small town, near a body of water somewhere in the United Kingdom.

No bells and whistles, just the necessities — with a little garden out back. I would write and think and create in this place of my own choosing, with my kettle nearby and an array of teas to choose from.

There would be a pub down the lane where I would get to know locals over pints of whatever the owner suggested was his favorite on tap.

They would slowly welcome me, regard me as a good neighbor, and someone in the pub would tell me where to get the freshest eggs.

Within walking distance of my cottage would be a place to get a variety of cheeses, a bakery I would stumble into by olfactory senses alone, and cliffs somewhere nearby where I would sit and eat my cheese and bread overlooking the water.

Sometimes I see it in images that cross my path, and I save them. I found a postcard that comes close. It may seem like nothing but a pipe dream, and maybe it’s foolish, but it’s mine. The place I imagine for myself, born from a time when hopes were forming on the precipice of me coming into my own.

Does dreaming seem frivolous and pointless now that we’ve lived a few years longer and been exposed to some of the harsh realities of life?

I think that this is when our dreams may serve us most — to remind us who we are far beneath the hustle and bustle of task and toil.

I think we forget to access that dream spot — or scold ourselves way too often for what we reason are silly notions — but secretly our hearts wish to dream, and in dreaming we make wishes.

Dreaming is as necessary as what we consider to be the responsible aspects of life.

And the thing is, we do prefer to dream. One needs only to consider the entertainment industry; just look at all the money rolling in.

We watch movies and television shows, read books — these dreamscapes take us for a ride. We relish what others envision and create. We look forward to next week’s episode or the long awaited sequel to a film, just to see what dreams may come.

Dreams can reconnect us to our most authentic selves. In dreaming we catch glimpses of the hidden gems beneath the buildup of life, the desires that tell us what we still hope for — all that we wish to see in the time that has been given.

“Here’s to the ones who dream

Foolish as they may seem

Here’s to the hearts that ache

Here’s to the mess we make ...

A bit of madness is key

To give us new colors to see

Who knows where it will lead us?”

— “Audition” from the film La la Land

Born in Rome, Olivia Gunn returned to her roots after a brief time of study at a university in Scotland. She is currently working on a book of essays and poetry as well as a memoir.

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