This one is number 7. We wrote the first few all at once and then they just sat there several months. Then one day Dani hit “Publish.” Having dreams is easy. Having grand plans for our lives, writing drafts that we keep piled away, wanting to do this or that–someday. That stuff is easy. To a certain degree, having a dream stashed away in our back pockets is what keeps us going. Knowing that there is a distant possibility that life could be different.

Hitting “Publish” isn’t easy. That’s why Dani did it, and not me. There is a vulnerability to following our dreams. There is a nakedness to saying “I really want to do that.” What if we decide we want something so much that we are actually willing to act on it? What if it we fail? What if nobody understands it? What if we start building a big boat in the middle of the desert, because we think that a flood is coming and everybody laughs. That can make us feel like fools. Naive. Silly. Like we overestimated ourselves. When we finally pull back the curtain that hides our own little magical, imaginary world, we don’t know how it will go or how it will be received. We haven’t yet tested that dream against reality.

In the pursuit of dreams we chart our course and find that Robert Burns was on to something:

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,                          (you are not alone)
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
Gang aft agley,                                                           (go often awry)
An’lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,                      (and leave us nothing but grief and pain)
For promis’d joy!

From: To A Mouse, On Turning Her up In her Nest With the Plough

So, after things didn’t pan out with the first place, we spent a couple of weeks reevaluating, which was easy, because our house wasn’t selling. We considered taking it off the market. We considered staying in Cochrane. We wondered if our dream had died. I still wanted to go, Dani was mourning the loss of her community. And then Dani’s parents called and told us about a property that they had just heard of. Someone they knew through farming had called to say they were selling their place and had heard we were looking (note again: no realtor). The property was a little out of our price range and so, when Dani called me at work to talk about it, we agreed not to pursue it. We said we’d call her parents when I got home from work to tell them not to worry about following that lead. By the time I got home, her mom had called to say they were rained out of the fields and were on their way over to take a look with Dani’s sister. A couple days later, my parents and brothers went to take a look. In then end, we had very close to 12 people go to look at this property before we committed to it (and now I am Moses, sending out my 12 spies). Of course we had only seen it in pictures. There was no milk or honey in the report on our promised land (although upon arriving we would find honey bees hard at work in the soffit above our bedroom window and we are working on aquiring a milk cow), but we were told unanimously that we should buy it.

So we did.

Cue the excitement and vulnerability.