Never give up your dream

I’ve had a dream for more than half-a-century. The dream of living in a wooded area, maybe in a log cabin. Living close to the earth with a big garden and apple trees, with huge logs burning in the fireplace when the winter storms come.
I always envisioned my woodland retreat in upstate New York or in neighboring Vermont, where the maples give sweet sap in the spring and make a splendid splash of colour in the fall.
But the place wasn’t as important as being close to nature in order to write.
My special role models were Elizabeth Yates and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Yates and her husband came back from a diplomatic post in England when he was threatened by blindness. They immediately moved to the woods in New England where they lived a simple life.
“The Lighted Heart” is the story of their life in the northeast. They grew their own food and cut their own firewood. And when the work was done, Elizabeth had time to write.
An idyllic life, it always seemed to me.
“Gift from the Sea,” on the other hand, was written by the seaside one summer. Surrounded by nature and living alone, Anne Morrow Lindbergh described the simplification of her life. And what she learned from the sea.
More recently, I became intrigued by the life of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Born in Washington, D.C., Rawlings published her first story in the Washington Post at the age of 11 and went on to be a news reporter in the 1920s—a field that was virtually closed to women.
But at age 32, she fled the city and bought a two-acre orange grove in Cross Creek, Fla. In her autobiography titled “Cross Creek,” she wrote, “We at the Creek have only very simple things. We need, above all, certain remoteness from urban confusion.”
Cooking three meals a day on a wood-burning stove and washing clothes in an iron pot, she still had time to write. She sat on her verandah on a deerhide chair with her typewriter on a cypress table and recorded her impressions of the south.
Sometimes she slept on the daybed—a few steps from her typewriter.
She published two stories in Scribner’s magazine in 1930. Two critically-acclaimed novels followed.
Still loving Cross Creek, Rawlings began another novel about a boy in a poor rural Florida family who adopts a fawn, then is ordered to kill it when his pet destroys his family’s meagre crops.
It was an emotional and nostalgic tale. Published in 1938, “The Yearling” won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939.
Rawlings’ hard work had paid off, and she was initiated into the league with Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, and Robert Frost.
But that prestigious Pulitzer doesn’t tell the whole story. When Rawlings first tried to publish “The Yearling,” she met with failure and rejection. Twenty-one publishers rejected her manuscript as worthless.
Fortunately, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings had a lifetime dream and she wasn’t going to give it up easily. Inspired by her dream, she trusted herself enough to contact the 22nd publisher.
So how about you, do you have a special dream? If so, always trust yourself whatever happens—and never give up your dream.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at or visit

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