Sunday, August 19, 2012

Turning Dreams Into Realities Just Requires a Little Determination

     It's amazing how long the excitement lasts after doing something you've always wanted to do. A week ago I was climbing into the cockpit of an elegantly sleek glider, preparing for my first experience soaring through the sky in an engineless aircraft. What a trill it was, and I'm still replaying my mental images on a daily basis. In between, I'm researching my next big adventure.  I have two possibilities on my radar for the fall, and both would be equally thrilling, although more investigation is needed. Still, it feels a this point like more a matter of which will come together first.

One of the tall ships of the Liberty Fleet
     This coming October tenth begins the Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race from Baltimore Harbor to Portsmouth, Virginia. Ideally I'd like be a guest aboard The Liberty Clipper and part of the Parade of Sail as over fifty tall ships gather in the harbor. The next morning, I could be on deck as the fleet stands out into the Chesapeake Bay and the starting line. Depending on the winds, this 127 mile race finishes south of Portsmouth fifteen to twenty hours later. Imagine the excitement of racing midst a fleet of tall ships. I have it in mind to convince my brother to join me for this excursion. He is the true family sailing enthusiast, and saw these fine ships come into harbor this spring from the deck of touring yacht. It would be a wonderful opportunity for us to share, since we spent much of our youth boating on the Chesapeake Bay. There are so few opportunities in our later years to polish the bond between siblings. Whether I participate in this schooner race or simply watch the parade of tall ships from on shore this fall, being a passenger on board one of these beautiful sailing vessels is definitely on my list of future possibilities.

Ashford Castle, Ireland
        If I find myself landlocked this fall, I have no shortage of items on my list of adventures. One of those is a lesson in falconry. This four thousand year old hunting sport has always intrigued me. What I have found is that is also a highly regulated endeavor, and if one wishes to take up the art seriously, they must first apprentice for four years before becoming a licensed handler, and eventually acquiring a bird of their own. Because the welfare of a live, traditionally wild creature is at the heart of the sport, it makes perfect sense that community is closed to only the most devout enthusiasts.

A resort guest enjoys a falconry lesson
     None the less, there are still opportunities for observing and participating, if only in menial ways. The fantasy opportunity would be a dream vacation to Ashford Castle in Ireland where guests not only savor the essence of a fifteenth century castle nestled into the rolling countryside of Ireland, they can also take in a falconry class. Since a trip to this four star resort in not in my budget this year, I find that I could also take a lesson a little closer to home, and still indulge in a luxury mini-vacation. The Greenbrier in West Virginia also offers elegant accommodations as well as daily falconry classes. Even closer to home, I have found the North Carolina Falconers Guild, and the names of a few individuals who may be able to guide me to more local resources. The research continues.

     What I find exciting in the mean time is the fact that with a little effort, and a genuine desire to break from the ordinary, I can indeed add excitement to my life. I'm learning that dreams are a necessary ingredient for prosperous living, as is expended effort. I thrive when I have something to work towards, when I know my hard work and diligence will be rewarded with fulfillment, that financial limitation don't have to restrict the richness of my life. Dreams are obtainable... but like anything worth doing, effort, imagination and creativity are required to make them reality. Personally, I find the more exertion and determination on my part the sweeter the just dessert.


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