In the brilliant 1989 film “The Field of Dreams,” Kevin Costner’s character Ray Kinsella builds a baseball field in the middle of a farm in Iowa. In the process, he perplexes his neighbors, who think he’s gone insane, and alienates his brother-in-law, who thinks he’s ruining his investment and threatening foreclosure.
“You gotta sell the farm, Ray,” his brother-in-law insists. “You’re bankrupt!”
But does Ray sell the farm? No. He stands his ground. After all, his farm has become a magical portal to a nostalgic, baseball-filled past, where ball players of yesteryear materialize out of the corn field ready to play ball and marveling at their good fortune. “Is this heaven?” Shoeless Joe Jackson asks. “No. It’s Iowa.”
This movie is the source of the phrase, “If you build it, they will come,”* a popularly accepted encouragement to follow seemingly-impractical or risky dreams. To me, “Field of Dreams” is the perfect parable for listening to one’s inner guidance (or in Ray’s case, listening to the disembodied voice that starts talking to him).
Sometimes I feel a bit like Ray. Again and again, I have followed my own guidance, even when it went against the prevailing sentiment around me. Sometimes I wonder why I couldn’t just be more normal?!
Maybe I’m building my own Field of Dreams. Accepting myself seems to work best, making peace with where I am. Sometimes I feel like an odd duck, but the satisfaction I get from paying attention to what feels right for me is priceless.
So no, I have no plans to sell the farm.
Let’s keep playing ball 🙂
*Actually, the line in the movie is “If you build it, he will come,” referring ultimately to Ray’s father, but popular culture modified it to “they”.