Far too many people boast talk about taking up hobbies late in life and blithely claim that it’s “never too late to follow your dreams”.
As a little girl I don’t think I had many dreams. I certainly didn’t have many original ones. I know that I dreamed of having thick, raven black locks, like Tiger Lily in Peter Pan, Cleopatra, or the Queen of Sheba in the illustration in my Bible. But although I don’t think I ever actually read Anne of Green Gables, I know what happened when she dyed her hair and I never wanted to take the risk.
Perhaps having raven black hair is a dream I could pursue now as the mousey-brown that came naturally has faded to white, so I’m sure the dye would take. But, really, it doesn’t seem worth the hassle.
I dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer, but my mother refused to let me learn, sending me to piano lessons instead. I hated them, and had zero natural talent, although I did learn a few basics of musical theory.
I dreamed of running away and joining to the circus. Probably to become a trapeze artist, a bare-back rider or tightrope walker. But I hadn’t had ballet lessons and had neither the initiative to track down a circus to join, nor the determination and self-discipline to exercise seriously in case one came to town. Now circuses don’t have lions and tigers, which makes them a lot less appealing (although a lot more ethical) and I don’t have the figure to wear a leotard or tutu.
Even if I set my mind to it now, and started stretching and exercising and dancing straight away rather than finishing this blog post, something tells me that it really is too late to be a professional ballet dancer or a trapeze artist.
But each time I look up close at the heart of a dandelion clock I am reminded of the tutus and ballet shoes I never got to wear.
I’m also reminded of the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, which, according to Wikipedia is “used as a metaphor for wasting time debating topics of no practical value, or questions whose answers hold no intellectual consequence, while more urgent concerns accumulate.” And that pretty much sums up what I do here on the blog.