Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A New Year's Dream

Quimper, Brittany, France

Happy New Year, dear readers! I want to share with you a new dream I have in my heart. You might guess it from the photo, so let's get right to it.

I went to Mass on New Year's Eve, the Solemnity of the Mother of God. The priest's homily was very simple, but somehow it sunk into a hidden corner of my psyche and went to work. What stood out was the difference he drew between a goal and a wish. A goal needs a plan to reach it. Without a plan, all you have is a wish. Let that sink in a moment.

On New Year's Day, my dream surfaced. I have written before about my Celtic heritage, and how I discovered that my French ancestors of the Valle family were an ancient, noble clan in Brittany. Located in the northwest corner of France, the territory of Brittany is part of the group of officially recognized Celtic territories which also includes Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, and the Isle of Mann. Brittany's culture and heritage are distinct from the rest of France, having more in common with those areas of Great Britain. While French is the primary language spoken in Brittany, there are still some who speak the native, Celtic language of Breton.

My maternal grandmother's grandparents were almost entirely Celtic, tracing their ancestry to Ireland (and possibly Scotland) and Brittany. I have always felt strongly drawn toward Celtic culture, history, and traditions. I am planning now for a pilgrimage to Brittany. I have already found the town I want to visit, Quimper, researched things like the weather and time of year I want to go, watched youtube videos of the region, looked at gites and cottages to rent, and read blogs. I've ordered the Usborne French language set for a great price on Ebay, and I've begun to save my money.

This dream gives me a focus for pulling together other things which need doing and completing for the best chances of making the dream come true. For example, one option would be to do a house swap with someone who lives near Quimper. This gives me a new motivation for getting house projects and decluttering done. It gives me a tangible reason to become conversational in French. It inspires me to really pare down my possessions and to buy only what is essential. To really watch where every penny goes. It gives me the push I need to buckle down and get my book ready for publication, and to advertise well for my upcoming dance class.

I have realized that I have been making excuses for not following my dreams. I have physical limitations. This is a reality, but there are things I can do to strengthen my lower back and core, such as losing weight and regular exercise. It would be easier to continue on with Spanish in our homeschooling endeavors, as I have a background in this language and so feel comfortable with it. French is not phonetic like Spanish, so it is more difficult to learn. But I must break out of my comfort zone. I must stop limiting my dreams to those which are small and easy. It's time to stop resisting happiness.

Money is a big obstacle for a lot of us, but it's often our attitude about money that gets in the way. We tell ourselves we can't afford our dreams, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We make no plans to be able to afford our dreams, and we have no faith that God will provide what we need, and so our dreams remain wishes.

What do you wish for in your heart of hearts? What plan can you hatch to reach your goals, and what small step can you take today to begin to live your dream?

Brittany Coast

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