Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

There is a certain curve of a well-traveled road that even now occasionally fills my dreams.  I have no idea why and sometimes years go by when I do not dream about it, but when I do it brings me a strange comfort. Four years ago while driving through a village in Suffolk, I found this curve in the road and in its instant familiarity and recognition, I knew exactly where I was.

The curve in the road - Suffolk October 2011 (c) Sherri Matthews

The curve in the road – Suffolk October 2011
(c) Sherri Matthews

How many times had I cycled past this curve on warm, summer days on my way to school a couple of miles from where I lived?  Or watched it pass by as I observed it through the fogged up windows of the bus on stark, winter mornings?   One or twice I had trudged through the snow that lay in drifts up against it on my walk home when the bus didn’t stop at all.

Field in a Suffolk October, 2011 (c) Sherri Matthews

Field for a Suffolk October, 2011
(c) Sherri Matthews

In all the places where I have lived, no matter the highs and the lows, the joy and the pain, there is a place that caught the imaginations of my heart long before I left the girl behind.

This girl was a day dreamer who longed for things yet to come, things she knew nothing about. She dreamed and hoped for a future as yet unknown as she strolled across the open countryside stretched out as far as she could see, breathing in the pure air that brimmed with the glow of good health.  At these times she knew that she was stronger than anyone gave her credit for.

Long before she crossed the shining sea, before she lavished her children yet to be born with the love that overflowed from her heart to theirs, she pondered her days in the lonely hours.  She watched silently as the brown field caught fire, burnished with the kiss of an early sunset as tears drenched her pale cheeks. In the deepest silence of the natural beauty surrounding her she found solace, and the reprieve she dreamed of.

View across the bay at Los Osos, California 2013 (c) Sherri Matthews

Dreamy view across the bay at Los Osos, California 2013
(c) Sherri Matthews

It was at these times that she knew her life would never be the same, from the time of that very first betrayal.  Yet she knew she would survive.

Where will you dreams take you? Selworthy, Somerset, England, October 2011 (c) Sherri Matthews

How far will your dreams take you?
Selworthy, Somerset, England, October 2011
(c) Sherri Matthews

  Because she was strong and she never stopped dreaming.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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84 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

  1. Gwen Stephens says:

    You’ve hit the theme. Dreamy, indeed. 🙂

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  2. Beautiful photos Sherri! And I love the story!

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  3. Rachel M says:

    The photos are beautiful. I love the thatched-roof cottage at the end of the narrow, tree-lined road.

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  4. What a beautiful story, Sherri…and your photos are stunning! I want to live in the house in Selworthy. Great post! xo

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jill, thank you so much…you would absolutely adore Selworthy. I’ll do a post about it in your honour soon and put up more pics. You will definitely want to live there then…and I’ll live there with you, it really is absolutely stunning 🙂 xoxo

      Like

  5. bulldog says:

    Sherri your writing is just so beautiful… man you must get that book done, if the writing is anything like this post it’s already a best seller…

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  6. Wonderful words and pictures, Sherri. I love Suffolk and Somerset. They’re both such beautiful counties. Without dreams, no hope: I think that humans need dreams as a sort of fail-safe for their survival. Keep dreaming.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Sarah. Yes, they are indeed beautiful counties. Originally, I’m from Surrey but I was ten when we moved to Suffolk where I lived for the next ten years. I love it there. We really do need to keep dreaming and hoping don’t we 🙂

      Like

  7. Andy Oldham says:

    Dreams are so important. They keep us alive and full of hope. Love the story and the photos. Geat shots!

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  8. TanGental says:

    You are the ultimate big softie, aren’t you? The pics are brilliantly evocative and the writing gives them a depth that at first you don’t think they need but realise they do. Champion, Grommit!

    Like

  9. Denise says:

    I really like the you link the girl who was with the girl who is now, both visually and in words. I would be no good at memoir writing because I tend to let go of the person I was very quickly and want to move on. But you have a gift for evoking the past.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…you are very kind Denise, thank you but I do find the photo challenges are great for writing prompts. Interesting because I’ve just been writing about Suffolk in my memoir (the first half takes place there) and so it is very much on my mind and I suddenly remembered the photo of the field. I think you could write anything if you ask me Denise 🙂

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  10. jenniferkmarsh says:

    Beautiful words, Sherri. Beautiful and moving. Dreaming is so precious.
    By the way, Selworthy is literally a stone’s throw away from where I live!! A gorgeous picture of the trees lining the narrow pathway.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thank you so much Jenny Jen Jen, I’m delighted you enjoyed it and yes, we have to dream, to believe, to hope… 🙂 Oh you live in such a beautiful place, Selworthy is a dream all of its own I so much want to live there! We walked all the way up to the top to the beacon through the woods, quite a climb. How wonderful that you have countryside like that on your doorstep… 🙂

      Like

  11. Beautifully written and illustrated, Sherri. Yes, we all have dreams of what could be, and sometimes they even come true. 🙂 xx

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  12. Amy says:

    Really beautiful, both photos and words, Sherri! I love the last two especially 🙂

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  13. Heyjude says:

    I wonder whether we would survive at all without our dreams.

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  14. Mabel Kwong says:

    Beautiful story, Sherri. That last line was certainly the punch line, and the last photo is very apt. I wonder where that path leads to around the corner. I love how it’s shadowed in the photo – sort of like a metaphor that no path traveled on is ever smooth…just like your story 🙂 The hardest times are the times where we learn the most about ourselves, the people around us and who will be there for us no matter the situation. Trudging through frigid temperatures or searing weather – that’s no easy feat too 🙂 Hope you are well Sherri, and that your book is coming along.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh dear Mabel, you certainly have a beautiful way of crafting words, I am always so touched by your messages and comments. I’m writing about a part in my memoir that probably triggered this post which the weekly photo challenge allowed me to express in this way. It made me remember the photo of the field in Suffolk and then it led to the way I felt, in certain memories. You are so right, learning who will be there for us no matter what is a very important part of life and sometimes not an easy thing to learn. But when we find who those people are, we are able to carry on holding that deep knowledge and security in our hearts. And what a very great blessing that is. As are you to me my dear 🙂 Thank you so much and yes, my book is coming along 🙂 I hope that things are going well for you and that you have a beautiful weekend 😀 x

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      • Mabel Kwong says:

        No, Sherri. Thank you for so generously sharing parts of you life and stories with us. They touch a lot of us in many ways, maybe even bring out the good in us. As I was reading this post I did think it might be part of your memoir. A real tease, and how exciting to know that your book is actually coming along 😀

        Been a warm spring weekend here in Melbourne with pollen flying everywhere, but a relaxing one. Have a good week, Sherri. Thanks for spreading the good vibes, as always 🙂

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      • Sherri says:

        Ahh…well, that doesn’t surprise me Mabel, you are very insightful and I just love your feedback 🙂 Just knowing that you and others enjoy reading these stories inspire and encourage me to keep writing and not to give up. And if I can send some good vibes when doing so, well, then I’m truly honoured, but you send me such good vibes in your lovely comments and replies so it’s a win win 😀 I hope you enjoyed your lovely spring weekend…and not too much trouble from the pollen I hope. My eldest son gets seasonal hay fever like clockwork, every May and June poor guy.
        Thank you, and you too, have a beautiful week dear Mabel and see you soon 🙂

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  15. Great photos as usual Sherri. And yes, we must never stop dreaming as well

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  16. Beautiful writing from a beautiful mind. Wonderful as always my lovely Sherri. 🙂 X

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  17. Letizia says:

    Somerset is so beautiful. And I love those thatched roofs and walls. Your story is so lovely – you’ve really connected to a part of us we tend to forget, that young child in all of us with everything ahead of us. And we all still have a lot ahead of us, regardless of our ages. touching post.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Letizia, I love your comment because you are so right…no matter how young/old we are we must still keep dreaming, hoping and not give up on those dreams. There really is still so much ahead for us. Yes, Somerset is a beautiful county. Selworthy is particularly beautiful, I want so much to live in one of those thatched cottages, that is my dream 😉

      Like

  18. restlessjo says:

    You’ve got me sighing for that view across the bay, Sherri. 🙂 Keep on dreaming, hon. You’re getting there.

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    • Sherri says:

      We often walked down to this bay Jo, kids and dogs in tow, it wasn’t far from where we first lived when we moved to California. We had five happy years there and one or two adventures as you can imagine 😉 Thank you Jo, means a lot to me that…

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Marvelous photos and they’re all yours! Wow. I do believe they all suit ‘dreamy’, the challenge and your story is about dreams too. Lovely. Dreams give us hope. Without them, I believe we’d die (sooner). The heart needs to believe and dreams are the highway that leads us. What a dreamer you were and good for YOU. Got you through the bad times. Awesome. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  20. Ste J says:

    Pure perfection!

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  21. simplyilka says:

    That is very powerful Sherri! I can feel the dreaming girl just like the woman who lost the innocence of the unknown. I am glad you never stopped dreaming. And I pray you never will 🙂

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  22. Very nice, I felt the power of that little girl’s dreams and it made me nostalgic for some of my own.

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  23. mihrank says:

    The theme brings a valuable and vibrant meaning! Congrats!

    Like

  24. Charli Mills says:

    I felt like I was walking with you at every curve, waiting for those dreams to unfold. A beautiful interpretation in words and photos! Keep walking strong; keep dreaming on! 🙂

    Like

  25. A vivid, touching post, Sherri. Not just the pictures and the words, but the touching and real memories connected to both. Like Charli, I felt like I was right there with you, waiting for dreams to unfold, and that’s real writing strength, to take along your readers with you.
    The picture of Selworthy, Somerset, England, invited me to come down the lane and stay for awhile; the feeling was so strong that I could hardly tear myself away from the picture.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Marylin for your lovely words, I’m so glad you felt you were there too. Oh wouldn’t it be wonderful, I would love to live in that cottage and invite you in for a cup of tea after that walk down the lane…I’ll put the kettle on anyway and we can chat awhile… 🙂

      Like

  26. Imelda says:

    This is a tender response to the challenge, Sherri. It is good to have a place where you can be yourself, where you can be safe to dream to be, a kind of solace. Now, the same place keeps you grounded and rooted. You have come full circle – you were the girl who day dreamed and knew heartbreak, and came out better from it.

    Like

  27. prior says:

    Sherri – mon amid, <3, my favorite thing about the post was how the words led into that boat shot – the reprieve was followed by clear branches and that the misty boat sitting there…. and all flowed – but that was just a special part for me.
    and this was also tasty to moi….
    "In all the places where I have lived, no matter the highs and the lows, the joy and the pain, there is a place that…"
    and then that last photo looked like it was bringing us right into your summer home for real – and so now I just find myself looking around for some tea?

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I love your comments so much, they are mini posts in themselves, so expressive in how you share what you enjoyed and how it spoke to you. Thank you so much mon amie 🙂 And yes, how I would love that cottage to be my real summer house at the end of the path…still, nothing like dreaming, right? And I’ll put the kettle on right now…you can bring the chocolate chip cookies 😀

      Like

      • prior says:

        Well thanks for putting the kettle on – and really – it seems like those are some of the nicest words to read – figuratively or literally – 🙂 ❤ – and English tea – well it just does not get much better than that! and thanks for saying that about my comments, and it is an honor – really – especially because you have the kind of blog where I wish I had to the time to read every comment – or most (ha!) – okay, I am going to round up those coolies to bring for tea ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Ahh…well it is true, every word and yes, do bring over your coolies while I pour the tea…milk and sugar with that or honey and lemon…?

          Have a lovely day Y… 🙂 ❤

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      • prior says:

        typo – not coolies – but cookies – but maybe we can make them cool cookies? okay – now it is getting cheesy up in here….

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        • Sherri says:

          Haha…actually I think ‘coolies’ sound really cute…just like when hubby asked for ‘flies’ instead of fries at a drive thru and we call them that ever since. So coolies it is mon amie 😀

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      • prior says:

        well how great – coolies it will be 🙂 and the flies sound good too – ha!

        and once when my youngest son was little – he insisted that this newsboys song said “24 second” for God watches me… it was 24 – 7 – but he was insistent that it was 24 seconds…
        anyhow, you have a great day too ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Lovely piece Sherri. Both the story and the illustrations that as Geoff said added depth. Most importantly I’m so glad you’ve never stopped dreaming.

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  29. Beautiful Sherri, I love that the strength of the ‘you’ now was laid down in the dreaming that you did as the ‘you’ then. Amazing what you’ve accomplished since that curve in the road. Love the photo of the burnished field.

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  30. Photos that read like poetry! Simply marvelous. Thank you, Sherri, for sharing beauty with me.

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  31. Marie Keates says:

    Lovely photos and beautiful words. Dreams are something we should never give up.

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  32. The importance of dreams, especially for people who want to write, is crucial. I think that you know how to dream and that your photos and words match the theme, but moreover exemplify a way of life that I totally understand. Happy Dreams, Sherri, and may they take you far.

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