Nandita’s Dream

is an adventure for everyone about following your dreams and trusting your heart. Infused with a love of nature and co-creation, it blends the new with the ancient and tribal. So what’s your dream? What’s your dream for the world?

We are Sarah and Jacqueline and we are the authors of Nandita’s Dream.

We wrote the book at Sarah’s house down a dirt track on Dartmoor, Devon, in the UK, surrounded by wild ponies, sheep, cattle and deer. The owls learned to fly in the oak tree by the living room and we outside looking out across the moor. We were writing about Pachamama, the Earth’s people and the wild animals, beings and tribes in the jungle land by the sea.

Nandita's Dream book Authors

photo by Alice Carfrae Copyright 2012

Our world travels had a great impact on the book. Spending time with different peoples and landscapes, swimming with wild dolphins in Hawaii, meeting with the Achuar dreaming tribe in the Amazon rainforest and being with the sacred kapok tree all inspired our writing.

There is a character in the book called Salassie, a whistling shaman who encourages us to co-create. This means making something between you that is greater than something you create on your own. So, in keeping with his great advice, together we created a weaving, this story, from all our experiences with nature, the Earth and other realms.

We loved bouncing ideas off each other, playing the characters to see what the children or Pachamama wanted to say. The last scene in the ‘waking world’ after the dream is such a great party and celebration that it almost wrote itself. We had a fantastic time with it. Nandita’s adventure story is about the power of dreaming and creating. It’s about resolving conflict, and knowing there is far more to this amazing world than what is seen. It’s a story of transformation and creating community with all that lives on the Earth, and is so relevant for this time and the changing world we live in.

Originally the story and characters came from Sarah and she asked Jacqueline to help write and sculpt the book you can read today.

“There was such joy in finding the lyrical, the song in the story and following it to see where it led us. All along Sarah’s songs played in our ears as we sculpted and shaped.” – Jacqueline

“Music is a big part of the story. The Earth is alive and there’s rhythm and sound in everything. When I first had the idea for the book, the songs came quickly. In fact it all emerged together, with the characters and the storyline.” – Sarah

There is also an upbeat, inspiring album of songs and world music by Sarah that goes with the book. It tells the story of Nandita’s adventures and features Black Umfolosi, Sheema Mukherjee, Tommy Blaize, Julian Marshall, Sura Susso and the Rainbow Children’s Choir.

Picture of Sarah Patterson

More about Sarah

I love many things about this project. One of them is that a story and an album that are each strong in their own right can weave something magical together. They both arrived at about the same time. Nandita’s name was there almost the moment the story began to unfold. Where did she come from, this quicksilver girl? As I focused with her more, her parents and friends revealed themselves and began to tell their stories. It was wonderful to hear from characters like Mr and Mrs Moses about their trip from Jamaica. Often I would pause in the kitchen as more of the adventure came through, and would start to hum a melody or write some lyrics – and suddenly a song would be born. It was a truly satisfying way for me to create. The whole project felt light-hearted. I would dance around the kitchen singing “Dance with me” or “Trust inside your heart, there’s a guide inside your heart”. I quickly realised these songs were meant for adults too, after feedback from families who were singing them.

Early on I knew I wanted to ask Black Umfolosi to sing on the album. I was creating the structures of songs and leaving spaces within for their unique creative input, hearing their voices. They said yes straight away. In fact the whole project has resounded with yeses and the support of many people from musicians to singers to sound engineers to designers and illustrators… What I see so clearly here is the power of co-creation and manifestation. When a project like this comes along it quickly attracts those who know it is in alignment with their own dream. Nandita’s Dream offers something creative, vibrant and empowering for children in the world and it is a joy to be part of it.

I live down a track on Dartmoor, loving the wild, writing music and singing. I love to dream and manifest dreams in the world, and this project is one of them. Nandita’s Dream is about being a loving, creative child in a gloriously multicultural world, a world full of potential where we can enjoy being different and being together. I’ve felt that way since I was a child. This project is a big dream and I am so glad it is being embraced by so many and co-created into being. My biggest thank you to everyone involved.

Picture of Jacqueline Lawes

About Jacqueline

Like many children, I grew up in a town. We had lovely gardens, but I didn’t know about the big wild lands. That was until I was around 6 years old and my parents brought me on holiday to Devon. When we drove across Dartmoor I was completely in awe of the amazing expanse of land. Twelve years ago I came to live here and I am still awestruck when I walk across the moor. This is a part of living my dream in the world.

When Sarah and I were writing about Tess showing Nandita the moss, I remembered my joy in Wistman’s Wood when I first stuck my nose into the springy moss: the sensations and the smells, the wet, the soft, the musty and green all together.

Writing Nandita’s Dream gave me lots of time to remember my dreams and what makes my heart sing. Like launching my new company, Live Love Dream Retreats, which is all about connection: connection with ourselves, connection with each other and connection with the whole of nature, which we are all a part of. When we feel this, it’s easy to find our dreams and to find ways to live them in the world.

Here are some more of my dreams, and I look forward to hearing about yours:

Dancing – all kinds, either on my own, with a partner, or with a big group of wild or soft dancers, on the land (especially) and in my flat (sometimes) and always with my dancing community in Totnes.

Singing – for the joy, making up songs that go with what I’m doing or feeling, or just singing the words and chanting, especially Indian and Tibetan chants that lift my heart and make me feel at home.

Community – doing things together like making a communal garden, growing vegetables, sitting around a fire, making music.

Children – my godchildren live in the next village and I love doing all kinds of things with them, on beaches, in the woods, baking cakes, swimming in lakes, playing games and walking under the moon.

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Here’s Sura Susso, the brilliant kora player on Nandita’s Dream CD. He also supported me leading a workshop. Continue reading

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