When I was a young girl,
I announced, “I want to be Howard Carter!”
My parents encouraged me by taking me to the museum,
Where I could gaze in wonder at ancient antiquities.
I dreamt of sweeping sands,
A ray of sunlight upon a glimpse of gold.
When I was a girl,
I declared, “I want to live in Africa, like Jane Goodall!”
My parents supported me by taking me to the zoo,
Where I could fall in love with animals of all kinds.
I dreamed of staring at grey crowned cranes,
Cheetahs and gnus on vast African steppes,
A sense of freedom and adventure.
When I was a girl dreaming of Canada,
I stated, “I want to become the Prime Minister!”
My parents bolstered my dreams by driving me to see the
Prime Minister’s motorcade during the height of Trudeaumania.
I envisioned leading the country,
Solving crises, helping others,
Guiding with sagacity and compassion.
When I was a teenager,
I confirmed, “I am buying a dog!”
My parents declared, “No,” yet they let me borrow the car;
I brought home an exotic bundle of Afghan hound love.
I delighted in companionship,
Sharing liberty and developing independence.
When I was a young woman,
I longed to be in love; to say, “I love you!”
I met a boy who would become my lifelong friend.
I imagined new beginnings,
Enthusiasm for shared journeys,
A quest of lasting love and ardour.
When I was a young wife,
I expressed tenderly, “I want a child.”
A new person to share our lives and joys;
We were of the same mind; our daughter was born.
A fair-haired wonder, overwhelming maternal love,
Amazement for the world around me,
Imagination through a child’s eyes.
When I was a young mother,
I expressed the wish to have our family grow,
Extending our shared love; our second daughter was born:
A dark-haired beauty with an independent spirit.
I recognized my inner self,
Strength of character and courage,
Determined fortitude that was ours to exchange for a time.
When I was a devoted mother,
I desired one more child to have and to hold,
Our baby girl was born with a radiance all her own,
An artistic soul that bonded with me in every way.
I understood the tacit ties that exist and grow,
Continue on, regardless of distances,
Never separating, creating and nurturing truth.
When I was a busy wife and mother,
I longed to be surrounded by dogs,
To extend my love and care with others
Who felt a special affinity for their canine family.
I gave of myself and learned how people
Need dogs for compassion, love, and sacrifice,
Thus becoming better persons themselves.
When my children grew older,
I wanted to make a difference in the world,
Teaching young people a love for learning,
Enthusiasm for the world around them.
I became a teacher, who listened and learned,
Guiding and caring for each student that touched my life,
Nurturing friendship, creating belonging, supporting unique directions.
When I needed rest, better health and a new direction,
I sang, “So, Let’s Go!” a Great Big Sea song,
To embrace change, find connections to nature,
A new set of emerging dreams.
I discovered woodland trails outside my door in New Brunswick,
Seaside rambles along the Bay of Fundy,
Meaning and belonging amongst ancient shores.
When I became a grandmother,
I yearned for lasting ties with my grandson and granddaughter,
Beyond occasional holiday visits,
To create meaningful loving relationships.
I have found wonder in new experiences,
Connecting past remembrances,
Feeling happiness in shared laughter and delight.
What new dreams lay ahead?
Nurturing a desire to create words,
Writing for joy with newfound acuity,
Through memory and reflection.
I contemplate past dreams,
Find achieved treasures through love,
Family, friends, dogs, and nature,
Continuing a love for life in future dreams.