Photographs by Meadow Linn

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Reconciling the Dream with Reality

When I was a little girl I used to see fairies and angels. They frolicked in the park near my home, dancing on leaves and leaping from tree to tree. With age, my childlike sense of wonder and my ability to see with the heart went the way of backyard forts, tricycles, and colorful plastic toys. Other than occasionally mistaking a tree for a person when driving too late at night or when camping believing for a moment that a shadow in the woods is a bear, I don't really have visions or see things that aren't of this world. A few years ago, however, I had an eerie and profound experience that some might even consider mystical or divine.

On a wet and very cold day in July on a family trip to Tuscany, in the style of many a romantic comedy, I decided to make a wish and throw a coin into the fountain in the main square in San Gimignano, a medieval hill town. My wish, of course, was for love. Before launching the coin into the fountain, I stood still for a few minutes, closed my eyes, and imagined the man of my dreams standing beside me. I felt the weight of his arms wrapped around my shoulders and the sensation of being in love. With this image clearly in my mind's eye, I opened my eyes and tossed the coin into the fountain. At the very moment the coin splashed into the water, there was a huge clap of thunder. Directly across from the fountain was a building with mirrored windows. My gaze was immediately transfixed on this building. Just as Harry Potter sees the thing he wants most in the world (his family) in the Mirror of Erised in The Philosopher's Stone, I saw reflected in the mirrored building not only the fountain, but also a man standing behind me with his arms wrapped around my waist. For that split second, I saw the man that I would spend my life with. 

Elation spread throughout my being. It gave me proof that I would one day find the man I'd been longing for, and it also reopened the window into the world that is beyond what we can hear and see. Unfortunately, this affirming and somewhat magical experience has proven at times to be more of a curse than a blessing. As I navigate the dating world, I try (and bit by bit I'm getting better at this) to look beyond subjective qualities (like height, looks, interests, choice of career…) and instead look for kindness, humor, shared values, and life-long compatibility. The challenge, however, is that always in the back of my mind is the image of the man I saw reflected in the mirror. How do you measure a real man against a vision? The man I saw was tall with somewhat shaggy brown hair, slender yet athletic, a little bit goofy, outdoorsy, cultured, and intelligent. I know it seems like a lot to ascertain in a split-second vision, but this is what I saw. He actually looked a lot like the guys I grew up with. So, the questions I find nagging at the corners of my mind are: Did I actually see the man that I will end up with or did I see a projection of the kind of man that I've always thought I would end up with? The men I've dated rarely remind me of the man in the vision, but sometimes I wonder if someday this man will stumble into my life. Should I actively seek him out? And if so, where do you look for a man you've only seen for an instant? As far as I can tell, online dating sites have not yet added "saw him in a vision" to their search options. I suppose I could camp out at a trailhead, REI, or my local bookstore, but I wonder if I'm even meant to meet this man? Perhaps the vision was only intended to show me that someday love will come. How do you reconcile the dream of a supposed ideal man with the reality of dating?

Tuscan White Beans with Sage
serves 2

For a romantic dinner for two, serve with roasted chicken or grilled Italian sausage and kale sautéed with sliced garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Eat by candlelight, drink a good bottle of Chianti, and whisper a few words of Italian to one another. Or, if it's just you…do the same thing. Treat yourself as though you are the most treasured and desired dinner companion around. Plus, these beans are so good, you might not actually want to share them. I ate the whole pot by myself the other day!

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
pinch of sea salt
pinch of cracked black pepper
1 15-oz can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a small small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the salt and pepper and sage. Stirring occasionally, cook until the garlic is tender and slightly translucent (1-3 minutes). Add the beans. Increase the heat to medium. Cook until the beans are warm and slightly creamy, stirring occasionally. 

Buon Appetito!! 


  1. Oh Meadow! I think this is one of my favorite blog postings I've read of yours! The experience you've shared and the way in which you shared it was simply divine and sooo magical! I love it!!! Your words resonate deep within me and I can equally relate to the yearning for a profound love; one that can best be described as out of this world. Of course, I've seen no reflection of my beloved that is to come, but I continue to feel (very literally feel) the joy and the magic that will be had when my beloved does show up. Some have said my expectations are too high and unrealistic. But you know, I'm not on this Earth to be realistic. I'm here to discover that every desire that is in my heart has all the required potential to manifest. My job is to believe that my "insane" desire for my "unreal" man will come to be. It's God's (the universe or whatever you'd like to call it) job to ensure that it will come to pass. I'm not going to worry about the cursed how's! (lol) And you know, I believe so much in my desire for love (down to the smallest detail) that it has become real for me in the sense that I know without a doubt that it will come to pass and that is what I celebrate right now; the knowing. I actually believe my love has already manifested it just hasn't arrived in my 3D reality yet! (lol)
    So, I tell you to believe with all of your heart because it's your belief that will allow it all to manifest! Let's just have fun waiting and be prepared to celebrate!!! In the meantime, savor the experience of waiting because there is joy in it and once the love comes, the waiting is over and a whole new experience will begin. Just savor it all like you "Savor The Day"! :)

    Love, love, love,

  2. Meadow, What a beautiful recollection of your life lived and written through the eyes an innocent yet very mature child. It sounds like you knew exactly what you wanted even then:)).
    As I read your blog posting, I was reminded of several people that I believe God has put on my journey to help me find or rather help my beloved and I find each other. I would like to share their links with you..
    ~Liora (youtube) lioraharmonics
    ~Angelina Heart @
    I hope one or more resonate if you're not familiar with them already...

    I know you will find him...
    ..from one in search another..
    Love and Blessings...Johanna

  3. Lovely post Meadow.
    There is something magical about Italy, its people and it's food. What you experienced there by the fountain was incredible.
    I believe the best way of manifesting what is in your heart is to keep' feeling the feeling' of what you want...keep that dream, desire alive, by letting go of the visual and focus on the feeling having that man in your life, how you felt with his arms around you.
    You are such a beautiful woman, I've got a feeling this guy is a little shy...thinking he could never get a girl like you!

  4. Hi Meadow - I loved your way of relating your experience - magical and can quite believe that it happened there - having been in Tuscany I know it has that surreal quality to it!
    Just a suggestion to get you moving on your path to finding your beloved - make a tiny shift to knowing it's already happened instead of keeping yourself in searching or waiting ...... it worked for me!

    Love Muffy

  5. Meadow, believe in the magic of that moment! Those moments of truth and awareness do not come out of nowhere. You are still tuned in. :) I must share with you sometime my "dreams" about this man whose energy is always with me. It's incredible...the three components to my many dreams of this "man" are always "we are happy, so in love and always laughing..." I'm so not looking, but I believe in magic! We shall see.

    My email:

  6. Thank you for sharing your special memory, Meadow. I agree with Jenny LeBel--believe in the magic. And in its exactness. But you know, like the seed you plant, magic works when you release it. Perhaps you're holding the image a little too close to your heart--checking it against who you meet in normal (muggle) space? Let it fly high and wide and free and forget it--trust it will bring in what is for your greatest good and happiness!
    blessed be, Maureen

  7. Thank you for sharing that Meadow! This is my first visit to your blog, very nice...
    I wonder if he is on the other side of the Match.coms,EHarmonys waiting for you and surely by the time you meet him you will never have a reason to even think about looking back or wondering if he was the one:)