I decided to take a bit of a computer break today. After a quick email to the essential folk, I logged off, shut down... and settled in with a book to take full advantage of the morning's peace and quiet. Kid in school, neighbours gone (though one had his friend drop by shortly after 5 this morning, hooting to get his attention and pick him up...!). Just the sound of regular downpours of rain and hail (Oi! there's ice in my rain!), dogs snoring and birds.

In that brief period of stillness I finished reading "The Teenage Liberation Handbook". Next up is "Dark Star Safari", on loan from a friend.

But at around 11, my peace and quiet was shattered. A two-man work crew started to install trunking for internet access cables all along the back of our flats - including drill-related sound effects. Ah well... life never quite works out as you plan it, hey.

I took the opportunity to wash dishes, and then did some dusting. Unfortunately it wasn't of the "shelves and surfaces" kind (more's the pity - they could use it!). Instead, I dusted off a skill and some dreams.

I opened up the piano and played for an hour. Seems I haven't lost my touch, but it's tiring if one's out of practice. That skill didn't need much dusting.

Then I got to dusting off dreams.

A conversation yesterday reminded me of the dream I had for many years of getting a qualification in holistic healing. When I was studying after school, two lecturers and myself considered starting a research facility for indigenous plants in the Karoo region. The microbiologist wanted to grow them, the biochemist wanted to analyze them, and I was interested in finding their healing properties. Unfortunately that one petered out - but I still had an urge to study things natural. I've done a brief massage and hydrotherapy course, but I want to get to deeper areas of knowledge, become well-versed enough to help others heal through the most natural ways possible. I looked at Naturopathy and Homeopathy at one stage, and courses in things such as light therapy, accupressure, herbs. Because we know so little about how the world around us works, I found myself fascinated by the use of vibrations, magnets, colours and touch in healing. I still am. But the expense and difficulty of studying while trying to work and raise a kid has kept me from doing it. Or so it seems - but I've realized that if I want something badly enough, I can make it happen. I think I'd enjoy helping others to health. (Though it's "doctor heal thyself" first... I'm nowhere near as healthy as I should be)

I took out my dream of organic farming to dust it off too. I realized that I may never be able to plonk down cash on a farm, then simply go live without debt to grow a place up. Instead, I realized that I could almost-farm. I've got a load of avo pips lying around that I am sprouting to plant - but a phrase in the book I was reading made me realize that I could be growing many other things too (this is what happens when Spring approaches, my green fingers start to itch). I've always used the excuse of no space, growing enough for me but not enough to supply a market regularly. I've also bemoaned those with large yards who don't use them - but... what if I were to offer to plant organic gardens for others? What if I took my green fingers, my love of getting hands into dirt, my excess seedlings and sprouting things, and planted stuff in other people's soil? Again, this is a dream that must start at home, right here in my own veg patch.

There's that dusty building dream. I've been interested in sustainable architecture, green homes, craftsmanship for years. I've often thought of designing and building eco-friendly homes to slowly replace the squatter camps and informal settlements of the world. I've been gathering knowledge on these dusty shelves of my brain for years. I actually have sufficient knowledge and skills to create insulated wooden prefab-type or more permanent fire-proof shelters - complete with wind/solar power and many other very eco-happy features! (If I could just get it past the Reconstruction & Development arm of the government, who only seems to build houses to gain political influence...)

Then there's the food one, also gathering dust. From student days I've wanted to develop a culturally-relevant whole-food meal option that is vacuum-sealed in a biodegradeable package, and which can be dropped from an airplane into needy areas. Culturally-relevant meaning you don't drop European food to a North African tribe, but take into account their unique tastes and diet. Whole-food being more than just the usual bags of GM maize, but rather a complete nutrition package - not even needing "just add water", as much food help goes to areas that simply don't have water to add! After drop-off, you don't want the area littered with foil packaging - hence biodegradeable. At the same time it needs to be strong enough to withstand falling from a great height.

Along the food lines I've also wanted to work on a kid's frozen meal - the kind kids will actually eat. Fun and nutritious food, that looks cool and tastes awesome. Conveniently ready to pop in the microwave or oven, and full of the right stuff for growing bodies. There are similar products in other countries - but I haven't seen many options here. I suspect moms would go mad for it! :) There's not much stopping me from actually doing either of these. Most great products begin in a small kitchen.

So I've been dusting off old dreams. (There are other dreams that I hold every day, that don't need dusting off, ones you hear about regularly.) The nice thing about a holiday is that one gets to finish a thought, to explore angles and options, to weigh up pros and cons undisturbed and start to realize some of those old, dusty dreams are perhaps not so far gone after all....

Now all I gotta do is dust those shelves. Before we start losing possessions in them.