Many many years ago (like 20 or so), I was working for a BIG music retailer. To put this in context, there was no such thing as iTunes, mp3s, or file sharing. Buying movies was becoming the next big thing - the format war had been won; VHS was the victor. Laserdiscs were cutting edge technology and prohibitively expensive. Music was as popular with all ages then as it is now, but you had to actually go to a store and buy it – the disc or cassette tape. LPs had gone by this time. This store was very popular, always busy and considered a “cool” place to work.
One morning I woke up after having had a spectacularly vivid dream. I dreamed that I had got up, had my coffee and ridden the bus to work – same as I always did. I got to work at a big mall in the suburbs (so far, so good – this was normal) and unlocked the accordion door, locked it behind me and went to the back room to disarm the alarm system. I looked around the stock room, sighed as if I was carrying the woes of ages in my soul; put my keys down on the counter by my computer (I was the shipper/receiver in this store so worked in the back room), started to cry because I couldn’t stomach another day of meaningless drudgery, turned around and walked out of the store. I went upstairs, bought another coffee from the Tim Horton’s in the food court, got back on the bus to go into town, went to the bank and liquidated everything I had. In my dream, I think I was able to scrape together about $5000. When you’re 24 or so and working retail this is a lot.
This is where the dream starts going sideways, like they always do. I took that money in cash and went down the road south of Ottawa to the Sale Barn and bought a flock of sheep.
It was about here that I woke up. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of peace that the thought of a flock of sheep gave me. The reality however, is that I lived in a small apartment on the 21st floor – not quite the place for a flock of sheep. I lasted in that job for a few more months and then quit to study Information Technology. Not sheep farming but I still believed I needed a conventional city job like this to live well and that I would find happiness in it. I did after a fashion, but still thirsted for something else. Something more.
I’ve carried that dream around with me for a long time and even now – 20 years later I can still recall that sense of peace. I’ve become a proficient knitter – I can do socks and basic sweaters out of my head. Last winter I learned to spin roving into yarn. This year, I bought the rural property with a barn. My husband and I have been joking about having sheep to deal with the 4.5 acres of grass we bought. Perhaps it’s no longer a joke.