On Desire, Willa Cather, and Clinging To Our Dreams


12 12 Tahoe and Mammoth 117

The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire.

– Willa Cather

I’ve driven by these structures many times in many seasons.  They could be any remnants from the days of the Westward movement, seemingly randomly placed alongside a now-busy highway.  Their walls, still sturdy, form the outline of what used to be.  Gaping holes which once must have boasted much-sought after glass and framed for heavy wood doors. What were they dreaming of as they carefully hammered each nail, hoisted each plank, and lifted each shingle into place?  Why would they choose this place, this spot, to claim for their own?  Did desire pound through their hearts as they searched for the American dream, longing for just a piece of land to call their own?

What remains of their hopes are just abandoned walls, clinging to life under the havoc of the elements, of time, a forsaken dream of what once could have been.

 What do you cling to when you feel beaten down by your dreams?

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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10 thoughts on “On Desire, Willa Cather, and Clinging To Our Dreams

  1. Sharon says:

    When my dreams and desires are bashed about in reality, I cling to the knowledge that dreams are, in essence, ephemeral. Another dream, another desire, another drive will fill the gap. My mantra has always been ‘be flexible’. I am ready today to move in a new, different, unexpected and unplanned for direction.

    1. Jennifer Wolfe says:

      Sharon, I love your mantra. I’m learning to be flexible in this life, too. My natural impulse is to control, to try to make things happen the way I want them to, and I have to consciously choose to be present, to go where the Universe moves me, and to know that it all happens the way it is supposed to. Thank you so much for writing today! -Jennifer

  2. Dawn Wink says:

    Oh, how I love this. On the drive to the ranch we drive by so many abandoned shacks and barns, just like in your photo – each so evocative of the lives once lived and the dreams once held there. I’ve always been so taken with these buildings and thought of the stories they could tell… Thank you for this connection with such powerful heritage and dreams.

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