It’s the tingling scent that awakens you first. The warming aroma of freshly ground coffee with a hint of sweetness in the air.
The gentle hum of pleasant conversation and the chink of tea cups against china saucers. The vast array of perfectly formed, colourful baked treats, all lined up neatly behind a cool glass cabinet, begging to be savoured by your temped tastebuds.
Ahhhh, this is my version of heaven! If I could LIVE and by live I mean exist, in a Coffee Shop, I would.
A dream of mine since I was a youngster, is to own a slice of this heaven. A sweet little café that would provide a place of solace for some, a social melange and meeting place for others and an opportunity to indulge in simple, yet decedent pleasures.
On my travels, some of my best experiences have been happily spent in places like this.
I remember practically running into one, to escape a frosty winter’s day in Krakow. Taking refuge in a charming renaissance café, I willingly squandered valuable sight-seeing time to slowly sip away at the best hot chocolate I have EVER had.
Any number of French cities and towns have afforded me the pleasure of sitting in a luscious café, filled with gemmed treats glistening in the window, trying desperately to stop at just one.
A cosy English teahouse brimming with character and scones covered in clotted cream, has warmed my body and soul on a blustery winter’s day.
And back home in Oz, a cool, funky café with hidden corners housing comfy leather chairs, has allowed me to finish a compelling novel or chat greedily with an old friend.
How wonderful would it be to create such a place? To offer this experience to others and make them feel all these things? To be surrounded by such senses on a daily basis? Yes, LIVE the dream!
But, then I reluctantly allow that nagging bully Reality to push me around and my dream is tainted, the shine lost.
Yes, the reality of perusing such a dream would mean giving up a lot. I’m not naive enough to think that sacrifice and hard work aren’t part of the deal here. I’m sure long hours, no family time and stress would definitely be part of the equation.
But it has got me thinking about ‘dreams’. They are powerful, wonderful things that inspire us, feed our passions and give us hope. We feel happy knowing that they are our very own unique creations. They have the clout to grow and morph with us.
We are told that if we work on our dreams hard enough and don’t let the fear of failure get in the way, it is possible to see them merge into reality.
I love this! The idea that our dreams can come true, no matter how fantastical they may be. As a youngster I bought into this philosophy whole heartedly, perhaps a little too enthusiastically.
Actress, archaeologist, dancer, novelist, musician, were just some of them.
After several ‘crash and burn’ episodes, I am still slowly and reluctantly learning that pursuing a dream means it has to be almost a need within you, it can’t simply be a want.
I think I want to own a café, much more than I need to. I’m figuring out now that in order to make the hard work and sacrifice doable, I reckon you really need to need that dream.
There are any number of glorious quotes out there inspiring us to follow our dreams (thanks social media). Heck, I even have a cushion on my couch that says ‘If you dream big enough anything can come true’. Bit misleading now that I think about it.
But I love the idea of giving things a go, at least.
Without stating the morbid obvious, we do only have ONE life. As my Dad says ‘There is no dress rehearsal’. I figure we’ve got to get out there and have a crack at all the things that might just be really worth it. The things that bring us so much pleasure.
I have an undelivered card I bought 10 years ago, that’s still in its plastic, with a quote by Thoreau (had nooooo idea who he was at the time) on the front. ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.’ The power for me in this quote, lies in the second sentence.
Dreams can be dangerous if we don’t balance them out with a little reality check every now and then. As long as we’re living a life that we had imagined for ourselves, then I’m going to say (as all good Aussies do), we are ‘livin the dream’.
So, I’ve done sooooooome hard work recently and while I’m not about to start any grand plans of opening up a Café, I have reached for the compromise. I plan on visiting more cafés to satiate my desire for all things dreamy AND I’ve decided to create an in-house Café (once a month), to fill my home with family and friends, coffee, tea and tempting café treats.
A win-win, all round I think. As for the future of dreams? I’m going to keep on following this current need of mine, to write this blog….. if only for me.