Building a Dream

sylviasroomI used to daydream about how wonderful it would be to build a beautiful village community inhabited by gifted spiritual people. Everyone would see eye-to-eye and live in perfect peace and harmony …

Of couse daydreams don’t take into account the fact that such a project would require unlimited funds, and an army of staff and willing helpers! And even if one could somehow ‘make it so’, in many ways it would be restricted, simply because of physical limitations. For a start, residents would have to actually come to live there. The number of residents would be strictly limited, and though all faiths, colours and cultures would be welcome, the reality of providing for the physical needs of this diversity of ethnic and cultural backgrounds would be a nightmare that would, in itself, require a small city to administer! Then there would be all kinds of other things to worry about – food, house repairs, taxes, laws, and about a zillion other things that go with a physical manifestation.

Yes, I admit it – I’m a dreamer, but I also have a down-to-earth, logical side, and in the cold light of day I quickly saw that this particular daydream would not be very workable as a physical reality. Now normally, that would have been the end of it – but it wasn’t. The dream not only persisted, it grew stronger, and became accompanied by an almost overwhelming sense of urgency – Do it! Do it! There’s no question about it – I was driven. All the time the village, Haven, became more and more solid in my mind. I drew it, I populated it with “pretend” people and wrote stories about them. But how could I realize this dream?

At the same time as all this was going on, I discovered the amazing world of the internet. There’s a lot of information out there, and slowly, slowly I learned. Gradually, it dawned on me that it was not beyond the realms of possibility that I, too could have my own website.

Finally, I got it! Team the impossible dream with the internet where all dreams are possible – build a virtual community! No restrictions – people from all creeds and cultures are welcome and instead of catering to a small local area, the reach is world wide. There are no physical requirements like food, house repairs etc. to worry about. Best of all, imagination is given free rein - Haven’s guardians are unicorns!

Once I knew the direction, things started falling into place. The right people suddenly started “appearing” in my life. In the Spring of 2009, I met with Eileen and Charles – a talented graphic designer and a knowledgeable business advisor. The meeting was magical – as though it was always meant to happen. We talked a lot, but the reality was that words were unnecessary. They both totally “got” what Haven is all about, and though we talked about costs and time, I think we all knew, even then, that this project would go ahead no matter what – because we all wanted it. This lovely lady and charming man have since become not only my business associates, but also my dear friends. So there was no ‘army of staff’, required after all – just three people who shared a dream and worked together to make it come true.

The village "Haven" is a kind of pocket dimension. If you look closely, it's placed in an area similar to an ‘olde-worlde’ English country setting, and a time roughly resembling the mid 1950s, but the idea is that it’s location in time or space is what you want it to be. And this is very much the watchword of the Haven experience – it’s different for everyone.

Right from the start, we knew that the web design concept had to be different. We’ve used – for the most part – my original artwork, and an interface which involves hovering the mouse over the drawings and clicking to enter an area. Indeed, it has been mentioned that exploring Haven is more like a playing a game than browsing with a conventionsal menu - (I suspect this is due to my mis-spent hours gathered with friends around a table playing fantasy role playing games!) Haven is always an adventure because we are constantly adding new things to click on – and some of the existing ones will change too!

Building Haven has literally been fun and (as Eileen put it) “a work of love”. All three of us are very protective of this dream. Nothing but positive, thoughts and good intentions have gone into the Haven project, and we intend to keep it that way.

Now without more ado, I cordially invite you to take a walk through our dream! I hope you enjoy exploring the of village "Haven".

Enjoy!
Sylvia

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