Emily Bronte said: “I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.”
Our dreams define us and often give us purpose; such a thing happened to me. A dream caused me to become a writer, a storyteller. I believed it was given to me to share it with the world. I may be a foolish old woman to believe in dreams, especially since my devotion to them caused me to ignore the reality that we were running out of money and losing our home in the Sierra. I kept focused on my stories. Two books were written and the third half-finished when harsh reality forced me to awaken.
No more time to dream. Sell the house or the bank will sell it. We put it on the market. It sold in six days. Three weeks later we closed the deal and gave up the home… five days before the bank would have sold it at auction.
It’s no palace, two bedrooms, 1100 square feet, but it’s on an acre of land just outside of Heaven.
I named it Dragonwood for the many twisted manzanita trees that grow beneath the tall conifers and oaks. A little house in a quiet community was a perfect sanctuary for the dreamer, for the artist, for the poet in me. I named my plants after characters in my book: Jasriel, my jasmine vine, Toshiro my Japanese maple, Esmendara, my venerable wisteria, Beowing, the huge twin oak that stands in the center of my acre, and my lovely dragonwood tree, Dawn Ember, a manzanita that fell over in a snow storm and still holds tenaciously to life. Small house, little acre, not much to call precious, but it was mine and I loved it more than life.
Sometimes, the elderly believe that no possession is as precious as the home that shelters it. Losing a home that one loves more than life can actually cause an elderly person to give up life.
As for me, I do not believe my loss will kill me. Heartbreaking? Yes, it is, and I have felt close to death in the last few weeks. I believe that my commitment to my dreams carried me through. I want to finish the third book and finish the dream. I still cry when I see pictures of my home. I still have my memories of moments shared with birds, deer, and all the gentle life that visited Dragonwood over the years. The clever Stellar Bluejay and ever-present Scrubjay would love to catch the peanuts I would toss into the air. I’ve handed peanuts to hungry squirrels when the world was covered with a blanket of snow. “Blessings of life, little one.” I have shared the apples I grew with the deer.
The doe never fear to bring their fawns to Dragonwood. I have seen the magic of mushrooms growing in a fairy ring. I have sat on clear cool nights and watched the meteors streak silently across the starry sky.
Foolish old woman, believer in dreams, now awaken to the painful reality of losing the real world, the world you called home for so many years.
The Mistress of Life that I believe in has a flare for irony. She has transformed me into one the very refugees that I describe in my books, people forced from their homes by harsh realities. I have been given temporary sanctuary by friends of my daughter. I hope to find a new home where I can write again. For now, I’m in the middle of the vast supercity, called Sacramento. There are five locks on the front door, bars on the windows, a gun in the closet. Many city people live chaotic, despairing, fearful lives.
Another irony the Mistress served me was to take away my home on one of my favorite days of the year, the Fall Equinox (the time for old magic to begin). I want to believe she has a purpose for sending me away. I want to believe this is a test of my belief in magic and dreams.
As John Lennon told me, “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
I have been the happiest woman in the world at Dragonwood. I take all the joy and love with me, and I thank the Mistress, for seventeen years of life, love, magic and dreams.
I thank all the readers that enjoyed my first two books. I hope, but cannot promise to finish the third book. The greatest irony of all is in the title: Tomorrow is “The Prize of the Survivors.” And, harsh reality, for the present, is the farewell to dreams.