If I was able.
If I could.
How many times we say those phrases throughout our lives.
How empty they remain: Perfunctory in employment, profoundly ineffectual.
If I could, I would have more tattoos.
I would climb waterfalls like I did a few times when I was younger and carefree–or careless, whichever the case.
I would ride motorcycles with good people who look bad along curvy mountain roads.
I would float down rivers again in silence with my companion, just me and him and the water and the sun.
I would play in the rain once more with someone I love as intimately as my breath.
If I could I would finish the degree I longed for.
Travel the world alone as planned, seeking to meet the strangest people and view the unseen sights.
I would write my name with rocks on rocks in unexplored caves, then sleep there surrounded by darkness and unfamiliar sounds.
I would stand, strong and tanned and without fear among the trees of a jungle and be one with it. I would discover a wonder that no one else could claim.
As we mature we relegate the dreams of our childhood and the ambitions of our youth to the places of fantasy. We exchange aspirations for responsibility; lofty ideals for mature behaviors. The things that we dared to imagine ourselves achieving become just that–imaginings, when they are, in fact, attainable.
I traded dreams. I manipulated them until they suited my reality. We all do. Many joke that we’ll do what we want in our ” next life “. I wonder how many of us wander around this life dreaming of that fanciful existence where everything we carry at our core comes to fruition.
I realized a short time ago how old I am and how much I sacrificed that really wasn’t necessary. There are still things on my roster of kiddom daydreams that are within my grasp, if I am brave enough to reach for them.
My farm I do for me. It brings me peace. It makes me happy. It encompasses many of the things on my childhood checklist of perfect scenario: It is wild. It is hard work. It is basic. It is pure. It is rife with life. It is full of animals. It is secluded. It is free of modern congestion. It is a connectedness with nature and the earth.
It is not everything. Nothing is. Therein lies the caveat with humans–we evolve, and we don’t. We change and we retain.
We grow; externally, spiritually, mentally, emotionally…what drives us, sustains us, compels us, completes us-ephemeral. If we do not answer the call of that need to satisfy the yearnings of our spirit, we become entrapped in a vicious cycle of regret.
If only. If I had. If I could.
The New Year brings with it all manner of musings and determinations. Resolutions to be our best selves and live our best lives. My great-grandmother used to say that whatever you do on New Year’s Day will follow you throughout the year. I believe that to be true, not because I am superstitious, but because it stands to reason that on the day most of us take stock of our lives and habits, those things that are forefront in our minds that day will stick with us throughout the year, until it is time to re-evaluate again.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. If ever I have stated a resolution, it has been in jest or spurred by a single event. I have no recollection of ever having done so.
It has been my habit to frequently take stock and evaluate. It is my habit to change what I can that does not work as it occurs to me it isn’t working.
This year, I decided to make a resolution: No more saying ‘ If ‘ when I can achieve a longing of my heart, a stirring in my spirit or a goal longstanding.
I have decided that to leave such things unaccomplished or unattended is a insult to my soul.
Happy New Year to each and all.
God bless and keep you.