16 May 2009


What do you dream at night? I have dreamed vividly since I was a child. Of people and places. Of family. Of loss. Some recurrent. Some nightmares. I have dreamed things that came true later - or perhaps were already true. Or perhaps just coincidence, if you believe in that.

Do you dream about flying? One of my children fell asleep in Anatomy class and dreamed of flying, and then falling, and woke abruptly when her head banged down on her school desk.

My favorite dream is of riding my horses as a young teen - it's almost like flying, clinging bareback to my favorite mare on a hot Idaho summer day, leaning forward over her rising withers as she lopes across a freshly ploughed field. It is my most restful dream and only comes to me in times of great need to be grounded or times of great joy.

Ten years ago, I kept dreaming about seeing a drowning baby and not being able to reach it in time. Interpretation aside, I would wake, terrified and shivering in a cold sweat. The baby was not mine, and the setting would be different every time - a mountain stream, an ocean beach, a clear lake. I was advised to step into the dream lucidly to save the child, change the dream, but it only heightened my terror to wake again and again, too late, all attempts failed.

Healing finally came for me from a group of women on their sacred ground, the ancient fishing grounds at Celilo where the Columbia River was once a large waterfall until the Bonneville dam covered it over and eliminated the traditional fishing rites of the local tribe. On this spot during an annual three-day gathering, the women were in ceremony, and I was given the opportunity to prepare and serve them food.

On the morning of the third day just before dawn, I dreamed again of the baby. Of rushing water. This time, I was able to reach out my arms and take the child to my breast, both of us saved in our embrace. Saved in a place where the falls had been drowned and through the practice of serving another. I have not dreamed it since.

Healing comes to me in the small moments of morning or the quiet of sunrise. The noise of a bird. The reflection of water up from the lake against the trunks of trees. And for all those broken pieces that make up my life, it seems an ongoing process.

Perhaps made easier by dreams of riding bareback under a wide Idaho sky.


1 comment:

  1. Your horse dream reminded me of this dream I blogged about awhile ago. I typically try to write my dreams down, whether its online or on paper. This one is from Jan. 9th, 2005.
    I've had at least three dreams with this family, that I can remember. But it's not just reoccurring because each time I dream with them everything is older. Different. Like they are continuing to live their lives whether I'm with them or not.

    So, I figured I would copy and paste it to let you read it. :)

    "Last night I had a dream that I have had once before.
    When I was a child.
    I lived on an open field atop a cliff, over looking the ocean.
    My mother had beautiful chocolate skin and hair cut to her scalp. She never wore any clothing that would constraint her body, only the beautiful flowy dresses she has made out of some cloth she had dyed herself. The one I remember the most is her green one. It looked so lovely against her skin.
    She had intense eyes and a soft voice.

    I was sitting in my room. It smelled like sage.
    My bed was against the farthest wall from the door, and my older sisters was against the other.
    I remember how everything looked.
    Everything looked hand-made. I'm sure my father built our house and our furniture.
    He was away on business of some sort. My mother wouldn't tell me what he did.
    While I was sitting on my bed my mother peered in with my little sister in her arms. She told me I could go out if I wanted, because she didn't want to see me being bored.
    She wanted me to have fun.
    I was content just sitting there, attempting to read, but when she mentioned I could take the horse down the the beach I was ready to go.

    It was gray outside, and when I looked over the cliff I could see the waves crashing against each other for miles out. It was beautiful.
    When I looked up at the sky, the clouds almost looked like the ocean, gray and white, crashing against each other. As I looked around, there wasn't anything for miles. This was ours. Our place, our life, no one to disturb us.

    When I got on our horse, he kind of troted around as if he was pleased with my presence.
    I told him to go faster.
    He ran, he was so swift. My eyes got cold, and I shut them, so he could take me where he was going.
    So we could fly.
    I told him to go even faster, and his hooves we barley touching the ground. I held close to his neck, feeling my body mold into his.
    We were one.
    I didn't even have to tell him where to go. He already knew.

    When we got to the beach, the day was almost at an end. I walked alongside my friend and he attempted to stay away from the water. His hooves barely making a sound against the sand. I picked up a few seashells, I figured I could make something for my dad as a present for when he returned home.

    When there was little light left, I got back on top my horse and we started home.
    We didn't go very fast, Both of us just soaked up the atmosphere around us and I calmly stroked his mane.
    When we returned home I was greeted with a cake and my family all gathered around the fireplace, including my father.
    He was a lot darker than my mother. He was tall, with a strong, workers body.
    His hands are what I remember the most.
    His hands were so comforting. They were big and strong, but they were still soft, like his eyes.

    After that I woke up.

    I've had a dream with this family before.
    But I was younger, and I didn't have a baby sister.
    When I woke up I felt it pulse through my body.
    I was home there."