Everyone is always dreaming that they’re somewhere else.
Really, it’s no wonder. This world can be cruel and cold, and all of us need an escape sometimes. But the important thing is to remember that this is life, and we all have something we’re called to do. Imagination is a wonderful thing, but it’s also something that we can easily be carried away with.
This is a lesson I learned very early on in my life, as I’ve always been fascinated with fictional worlds. When I was younger, I often wished I’d been born in a different time or place because I often felt out of place among anyone but my family.
But as I grew older, I realised the truth: that God has brought me here for a reason. I was always meant to be here, and it was not a mistake that I was born in this time. I learned to see the beauty and magic in my own life, even when things got hard. I have so many wonderful people surrounding me; I could never even begin to number all the blessings I’ve been given.
That being said, I no longer wish to be somewhere else. I’m content where I am. But…a question on a writing job application I completed a few months ago made me give this some more thought, but in a new light. The prompt asked me to write a brief “story” about what my life would be like if I could live anywhere and be anyone, even if it was fictional. Essentially, it asked me to write about my “dream life.”
My imagination ran wild. Because while I do love my life, dragons would make everything a hundred times better, right?
I wake up to the sound of an ocean crashing against solid rock. A savory scent filters in through my nostrils and my mouth waters. I take my time stretching my body before I roll out of bed and my feet hit smooth wooden flooring.
Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I shuffle out to the kitchen, where a plate of eggs, bacon, and toast is waiting on a small round table with a steaming mug of tea within arm’s reach. My husband grins at me from the stove and I smile back, despite the weight of sleep still hanging on me. Breakfast is good, and my husband’s silly jokes and warm smile are even better.
By the time there’s nothing left of my tea but the dregs at the bottom of the mug, I feel wide awake. I kiss my husband goodbye, quickly change clothes, and bound outside into a crisp, foggy morning that gives me the best kind of shiver. I put my fingers in my mouth, blowing a shrill whistle that echoes endlessly against the surrounding cliffs. An answering call bellows almost immediately, and before even a minute has passed, an approaching silhouette disturbs the fog to reveal a giant dragon, my fearless companion, Roselle.
A hint of sunlight cuts through the haze and gleams off of Roselle’s crimson scales as she lands in front of me with a toothy grin. I smile in return and swing myself onto her back with ease, patting her neck as I wish her a good morning. Without even a word from me, Roselle leaps into the air, her massive wings stretching out like canopies on either side of me. There’s a distinct moment when I can’t breathe, where it feels like we’re freefalling. But then a distinct snap sounds as her wings catch the air, and we soar.
I let out a whoop of excitement that can just be heard over the roaring of the waves below. Wind rushes past my ears as Roselle picks up speed. I revel in the joy and ecstasy of flying, not even minding that Roselle takes the long route to our destination.
By the time we reach the peak of a snow-covered mountain, I’m breathless from excitement. I manage to dismount successfully anyway and pull my cloak around myself to ward off the chill. I begin to dig through the snow with gloved hands, but Roselle noses me away and rakes her impressive claws into the mound instead. Wet, dying grass is waiting beneath the snow, but that’s not what I’m here for. Roselle helps me to clear away more snow for several minutes before I find my first one.
It looks like a pretty normal mushroom, though a little soggy after sitting under piles of snow, but I know that its taste is like no other. I pick it from the ground and hold it up triumphantly. Roselle wrinkles her snout; she prefers meat. I chuckle and continue foraging for mushrooms until my hands are just about numb and I have a whole sack full of the tasty fungi.
Roselle and I leave the mountaintop and begin our journey home. That night, I cook up a chicken and mushroom dish that could probably feed fifty people—which is a good thing, because my entire family comes over for dinner and there’s barely anything left afterwards. Once everyone’s gone and my belly is full, I make myself a cup of tea and hole up in my office. I sit down at my desk, pull out some paper and a pen, and I write of dreams and dragons.