Dreams

What dreams led so many Chinese to leave home and take long hard journeys across the world? Before you ever leave, a golden dream finds to you. The dream passes along the same path that you will take, coming in the opposite direction. The dream transforms you, changes your surroundings. You have to leave this place. You aspire to follow in the footsteps of those who left before, those whose stories came to you in the form of dreams. The dream is the first step. Without it, there is nothing to ignite the desire for a brighter future. Through long voyages and weary days, the hope of that first step sustains you, makes a harsh life bearable. They are a salve for women whose husbands are far away, and for children separated from parents. Waiting patiently for money sent from abroad, waiting for news, wondering if the family will ever be together again. Dreams of success, of wealth, of romance, of adventure, of the respect and admiration of others—these are the “Gold Mountain” dreams that have inspired ten thousand journeys. Dreams of a better life still inspire families to separate. Two centuries later, children cross oceans for a better education and a better future, wondering where they belong.