First I Dreamt the Journey – Part 2 – Magic Moments

Once upon a time” the old man began, “when the world appeared a simpler place, I grew up in a house which was as far as it was possible to be from the town and yet still be regarded as being in the town.

A place where the sound of cattle and sheep and geese was the norm, where the smell of the farmyard was ever present; where the rooster crowing at dawn was part of every day and where dogs were working animals, rather more than pets.

It was a time when people still kept ferrets and hunted for rabbits, when children played out rather than in, when television was yet to be invented and when the greatest friend for every child was their own imagination.

And yet it was a world too where danger existed. Traveling downhill on a home made go-cart, thrilled by the speed and then losing control, heading straight for a barbed wire fence. Then, and who knows how, an intervention which caused the bottom strand of wire to catch my knee, flick upwards, and cling for an instant to the strand above whilst my head passed underneath. The difference between life and death.

Those moments exist in all our lives, moments which in their passing seem to leave everything as it was before. But the reality is that in that split second everything changes – one potential future denied, another occurring.

So often we do not notice their occurrence; we let them pass by without paying attention. But it is those moments which define our life’s passage.

We would do well to reflect, to consider those moments, to consider their impact on our lives, to capture their essence, to become aware of the split seconds in time which changed our lives for ever”

For those who prefer the spoken word   –


28 Responses to “First I Dreamt the Journey – Part 2 – Magic Moments”

  1. So true David.. what we choose to do when we are confronted with a new challenge creates our f futures…this is wonderful I am so enjoying it

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Katherine,

      And not having the benefit of foresight we often have to choose out of faith!!

      I am delighted you ae enjoying this 🙂

  2. christine Says:

    david, I love the scene setting for this section of the book. It creates a very tranquil picture which puts me in the mood for listening to the old man, but a warning too, of possible impending danger.

    Oncec again I am taken back to the days before my surrender. I have travelled many times downhill, thinking I was being thrilled by the lure of an exciting finish, and totally oblivious to the danger that inevitably awaited me. So many times my head ‘passed underneath’, and I paid no attention to the intervention occuring.

    That intervention was still at work when I had my moment of surrender. Why did it happen when it did? Why did it happen at all? I only know that it did and I need to be for ever gratyeful for it.

    That isn’t to say that I dont have a go down that hill in sobriety! I do; sometimes I go half way down building up great speed and then something inside says ‘pay attention’ whereupon I am able to put those precious breaks on and do a U turn. Sometimes I only just set off and at that point of realisation I am able to take a few backward steps to safety. Paying attention creates all those split second differences in my life. Not paying attention does too but at least the orher way I am allowing myself the choice to behave differently.

    There have been and continue to be all these different outcomes for me depending on choices made. And all those choices have consequences, some easy to deal with, others more difficult. When I am in what I can call a good place with myself I can go throuh a process of discernement to arrive at what I think is a healthy choice. This does not always happen and that is when I make life difficult for myself.

    I need to tell myself to keep paying attention.

    I feel as though I have rambled. I hope you can make sense of what I have said.

    Lots of love



    • belfastdavid Says:


      I am always delighted when my writing provokes this sort of response – it obviously touched you.
      This is precisely what I hoped the book would do – prompt the reader to explore their own experiences and come to their own conclusions.

      I have no answer to your Why questions, but you are right – gratitude is the response we need to continue to hold on to.

      We will all continue to set off down that hill from time to time but paying attention will allow us to do something about it.

      Lots of love


  3. First one foot and then the other.. it all begins with a dream.

    • belfastdavid Says:


      I am delighted you have dropped in. It does all begin with a dream and then one step at a time – the road goes from A to B, not A to Z!! 🙂

  4. Elaine Randall English Says:

    Extremely nice piece of writing…very genuine and unforced….REAL….and REALLY good!

  5. It is vivid; the ferrets (my father had them as well for hunting rabbits)
    I want to read more, this is very good! 🙂

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Both our fathers then Ina. 🙂

      Thank you for your comment – coming from a writer as talented as yourself I am delighted

  6. Oh David, just a wonderful walk along your page … I so love this.
    Both the spoken and written version…. wonderfully touching.

  7. I love both written and spoken – there’s nothing about great storytelling by great storytellers that I don’t love.

    You’re a great storyteller, David. Nothing more needs to be added. Could listen to you tell a story without end.

  8. Hi David,

    I really like Part-2. Maybe because I so easily relate to it. The descriptions of the countryside are easy for me to identify with and associate with. I only need step out my back door. 🙂

    I love the rolling flow of the narritve with the old man descibing his world and of couse the go-carting. 🙂 There’s nothing like the dangers of childhood to make you appreciate being in the here and now and it serves as a brilliant metaphor for intervention in our lives.

    In thinking of intervention in my life all the choices I’ve made even the choice to move to a simpler country life, it reminds me of the the epiphany I had in my mid-twenties that even choosing not to make a choice effectively saying “come what may” is a choice. It changed a lot for me in being able to live a more mindful life.

    I owe alot to those moments of intervention. I’v had a close guiding hand I feel keeping me safe. My brakes may have failed on my go-cart at times but there was always a soft landing allowing me to get back up again.
    These days I cautiously live on the hill top, knowing I’m happy not taking a chance with fate or “come what may.”

    Part 2 reminds me of all I have to be grateful for in the bigger picture of my life. Being alive, having a stable mental health, and stability in the everyday.
    ‘Magic Moments’ brings back for me the gratitude for those choices I’ve made and for that guiding hand that allows me to make choices and to live a more peaceful and contended life.

    I hope you yourself have been having a peaceful week.
    I so enjoy being able to come here and listen and follow along to such beautiful and engaging storytelling. Your stories are my kind of stories. 🙂


    • belfastdavid Says:


      This is such a gentle response in which your gratitude shines through – it has made me feel nice and warm. 🙂

      I keep a copy of the “Foot Prints” poem on my bedroom wall so that I am reminded on a daily basis of that guiding hand and reminded to be grateful.

      The go-cart often comes to my mind – because we never put brakes on when we built them – brakes were for wimps!! 🙂
      Thank goodness I have learnt more sense since then.

      And I often too, like you, think about epiphanies along the way. We wre who we are and our mistakes are part of what made us. Your statement of the simple gratitudes “Being alive, having a stable mental health, and stability in the everyday.” mirror my own. 🙂

      I am having a good and peaceful week so far. I wish the same for you


  9. Christine Says:

    Loved reading this…very wise and very important I think….well shared.

  10. Your writing is magic, David. I was taken back to a softer, more gentle time, as it were…I could see and hear it all.. A big truth in what you say about life-altering moments!! Hugs, and I feel so privileged to read this!!

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Sandy,

      If we are going to reflect we need to find a softer, gentler place in which to get in touch with ourselves. I am delighted that you could find such a place.

      Hugs are always welcome. (((Big Irish Hug))) back to you 🙂

  11. Wise words & very evocative reading indeed (:

  12. Excellent writing, David! I am very much enjoying this series. 🙂 You’ve got me thinking about about my own close calls, but even more so, those of my children.

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Susan,

      The whole point of the exercise is to make the reader think – where ever it takes them 🙂

  13. David,

    Great writing. This has always been one of my favorite parts of the book because it is so very calming, though it does give me the feeling of calm before a storm. And, it took me back to my own childhood–not a bad way to spend a few minutes with my eyes closed as I remembered those homemade go-carts with feet for brakes. *grin* I also remember riding on the handle bars of Thomas’ bike…and falling off into a roadside blackberry patch–the kind with briars.

    The quality of this video is better than the first–something to do with lighting, I presume. You look well, and your voice is warm and gentle. Calming. I hope you do continue with the videos.

    Sorry to be so late with this comment. It’s been a really strange week here in my life–but okay.

    Take care,

    • belfastdavid Says:

      Thank you Shirley,

      I smile too as I go back to those moments from childhood – perhaps best not to think too long about sliding down hill using a tin tray as a sledge 🙂

      I remain ambivalent about the videos. However I will persist – I have recorded the next 4 sections this morning because that is the thing which takes the time.

      I do hope things are Okay with you.

      Look after yourself

  14. oh ….. i liked this. so true when comes to then and now. you and i seem to be on the same tracks of thought. just to let you know, i’m nuts so that’s probably not a good thing *winks*

    sometimes i wonder what it would be like …. if more grew up reading instead of glued to the TV. seems to have gotten to certain genetic types more than others and reducing prospects. have been reading the stream on the myspace head profile lately …. talk about depressing on the state of language and english. oh it’s so bad … makes me want to weep.

    they don’t get it that you have to read the books …. the movie cannot do the layers of thought justice. even the great ones — like “gone with the wind” that come close — are still miles away from what you get from the author and words. i’m not sure why.

    they say a picture is worth a thousand words …. but i think it’s the other way around.


    • belfastdavid Says:


      I am more than happy to be on the same tracks of thought as you Eileen.

      I would worry more about the younger generation were it not for the example of my younger son who goes nowhere without a book for company. For I totally agree with you – you have to read the books!!!!

      I have even come across people who purport to write poetry without reading poetry books – my mind boggles.

      Let you and I both continue in the pleasure of peace and quiet and a good book. 🙂


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