004. The dreams we often get wrong

Darkness descended. Patches of fog brushed past me as I climbed higher into the hills. Is this how it feels when you die, I wondered? First the sense of loss, of leaving everything familiar behind, without any choice? Letting go of everything you own? Leaving your loved ones behind?

Then a journey through the darkness and the fog. The uncertainty of not knowing what lay ahead. Leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar. Feeling totally alone.

To be honest, where I was heading wasn't entirely unfamiliar. At one time, when I was riding the crest of a wave of success, we'd bought a country cottage (above, right) on an acre of land complete with a spring-fed well as our weekend escape.

I'd call for my two daughters, load up the car, and head off away from the madness to my country paradise.

I had a crazy dream to live there with my family, write a string of bestselling books, paint some masterpieces and grow some vegies and fruit and attempt to become self-sufficient - I even planted fifty young fruit and nut trees of all kinds - and live in peace for the rest of my life.

How crazy was I?

Was this night, this journey I was making alone, the real dream? Did my old life have to be shattered before this dream - whatever form it might take - could begin to take shape?

"Everywhere, no matter what the sphere of interest (whether religious, political, or personal), the really creative acts are represented as those deriving from some sort of dying to the world." [JOSEPH CAMPBELL]

Today Neil Smith is an author and blogger working from home in a quiet fishing village across the bay from Melbourne, Australia. He has authored 3 non-fiction books including 'The Mystery of Granny's Ghost'. Visit his book website at neilwjsmith.com and his 'Work From Home' blog at neilwjsmith.info.