Friday, 21 February 2014

A Dream Or A Memory - The Choice Is Yours To Make

The sun beat down on an already parched land. The wind blew across the fields of brown and withered grass, bending stalks, creating the illusion of a wave running across an ocean. To the east, the ocean itself, its waters a beautiful and rich azure, that deepened and darkened away from the shore. Across to the west, majestic and towering, the mountain peaks, snow clinging to the northern slopes, even now, resisting the days of high summer. Ahead, the road snaked on and on, writhing and twisting its way around the coastline. This was the coast road that linked the towns of Blenheim and Kaikoura, on the South Island of New Zealand. Along this road, I now cycled.

Parched and dry land
How can I explain the feelings that I experienced yesterday? How do I explain the childish grin that erupted across my face, the wild, untamed laughter and the beating of my chest and the punching of my fist in the air, as I uttered a cry of pure and utter, unabated joy? It sounds like a madness and it is. It is the madness that comes from following your heart, from going in pursuit of your dream, and from the moment of realisation. That here you are, dream and reality are inseparable, each melding into one, no longer able to distinguish where dream ends and reality begins, the dream is no longer only a dream, it is now, it is here, it is reality, and soon it will be a memory. A memory that exists from an actual experience. No longer the thought of what might be, no longer the wonder of how it would be.

The reward after a long, hard climb
Since the first time I drove this road in 2004, I have thought of it. For me, it is one of the most beautiful, scenic and stunning roads that exists on this planet. It reminds me of State Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, that runs the coastline of California, particularly the section from Los Angeles up to San Francisco, through the Big Sur. Kaikoura itself is also a very special place. I came here for the first time in the New Zealand winter of 2004.

I'd driven all day, coming up from Queenstown in the south, after I'd scared myself witless making my first (and last) bungy jump from the Kawarau Bridge, the home of the first commercially operated bungy in the world. I'd driven into the night through heavy rain, so that I would be in Kaikoura in time to go whale watching the following day, something I certainly did not want to miss. I'd never known nor suspected what would await me the next morning, and I think it was all the more special because of that. It came as a complete surprise. From the first moment that I pulled open the curtains on my motel room and stood in jaw-dropping awe, my eyes taking in the crescent of beach that arced around to the north, the water glittering and sparkling, as the sun shone out of a perfect clear blue sky, and the mountains to the north, standing tall and mighty, blanketed in snow, I was in love. From that moment, Kaikoura was special to me.

Ocean and mountains
Dream or memory? Both live within our thoughts and our consciousness. Each is nothing more than some form of mysterious electrical pulse that exists within the matter of our brains. Some dreams are so vivid that on waking, it seems that they exist in memory, as real moments that were actually experienced. But they were not. Dreams are good. Without a dream in the heart, it is not possible to push yourself, to strive to be more than you are, to seek out the unknown. A dream must not stay in the heart forever. In the heart, caged like a prisoner, the dream will eventually wither and die. As the dream dies, so too does a little piece of the soul – of your very own soul. Each dream that dies, means that you are one step closer to the end, to the inevitable darkness that must consume us all.

Turning a dream into a memory, that is the key that will unlock the universe. A dream that becomes a memory is never dead. It has been been given life and it has transmuted into a memory. And as a memory, it will happily live on forever more. A dream that is a memory is your companion for the rest of your days. It is there to be recalled, to be looked upon and to be relived. In so doing, you will feel the joy and the happiness as you felt them in the moment that you first realised the dream and you will know in that moment one very important thing – that you lived your life and that you followed your heart.

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