Dreamers dream while planners plan; put a dreamer and a planner together and the combination can be both stunning and amazing. When the two are actually half of the same whole, people can become very confused, which in itself can be an adventure. Sitting on a large rock outcropping years ago a young man who came from a long line of penniless hardworking folk thought of the damage that the quest for gold had brought. He thought of the breakup of families, the pain, wars and grief that the quest for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow had brought. He thought of the destruction of nature for the sake of making a quick buck without regard to the long term damage they were about to unleash. How can you mix nature with nurture in such a way as to benefit all? Visions of farming and therapy filled the daydreams of this man for years to come. Over the years there were many failed attempts to secure land or the use of land in order to make this dream a reality until it became to be viewed as little more than a pipe dream. Finally one day he was overheard discussing part of his dream to someone when the right person heard it; the dream started to take root. A dream can be lonely if only one person has it, but let the dream spread to others and in time you may be surprised what will spread. Take Pillwillop Therapeutic Farm for instance. The farm had been around since the 1860’s but its better days appeared to be behind us. After multiple generations of family members who worked the land it appeared that there would be no “next” generation; farming is a hard way to make a few dollars and after generations of working fulltime and working the farm, interest had become exhausted. The farm needed to be redefined when the steward of the land heard of some of the dream. Soon the two dreams merged and Pillwillop Farm became Pillwillop Therapeutic Farm. Still penniless, a deal for the property was still reached due to the collective dream and a steward who cared more for the survival of the natural land than for the dollars that could be collected should the land become a subdivision. The old steward would be joined by a new steward and the land would continue much as it had for millennium, growing, providing and encouraging. Two with a common dream can spread to others. Soon volunteers would occasionally show up and spend hours helping to clear and maintain land. One time on just such an occasion a person who was paid to deliver supplies was caught up in the dream and spent several hours helping as well. Though money is still in short supply sets of hands have continued to grow. Donations of skills and materials have increased. An antique sign frame from 100 years or so ago was donated, an expert reconditioned it, and an electrician ran new lights and a sign maker made a new sign for the frame. Soon it will be installed at the farm. A mechanic has donated hours to help fix the broken tractors, which are working museums in that the newest one is 50 years old. Electricians, carpenters, painters and general laborers have pledged hours to help fix the barn and grounds. Activities are ever increasing and the spirit of community is growing strong. The gardens have started; families find solace in the new space. New dreams have taken root. As we march into this new unknown, a collective dream shared by folks of all races, religions and political persuasions, we do not know the eventual outcome but we will do what we can to see it take root. As clinicians we all have dreams, our clients have dreams. While we need to be realistic and taking a pragmatic stance is helpful, do not let it erase your dream. Take time, plan, share your thoughts and dreams and see what may happen. As individuals we may not be able to do all things needed to make our dreams work, but maybe if enough folks buy into and share even a small aspect of your dream you will be able to see it become real. If you are ever in Wolcott CT. look us up. Come take a nice walk in our trails, listen to the babble of the stream, and look for the coyote, deer, turkey and other wildlife, maybe watch the plants grow. While sitting there, maybe a dream will take root or perhaps a new one will sprout. Either way, never be afraid to reach out, to grow, expand, dream and achieve. Our clients rely on us to continue to make deep and lasting impacts. We cannot do that if we grow stagnate.
Warren Corson III (Doc Warren) is a counselor and the clinical & executive director of a community counseling agency in central CT (www.docwarren.org).