Sunday, March 13, 2011

A dream about oceans and families

By the way, dear reader, I posted here yesterday too. Don't overlook that one if you're interested!

I want to document a dream I had last night, before the tide pulls it back into my subconscious mind.

I was with my dad, mom, and sister, visiting them as an adult -- or so it seemed. We were at a beach somewhere, likely someplace exotic. I was spending time with them while the thought of my other family, the one I have now, was on my mind. I was thinking I needed to get back to my other family. There was some confusion in the dream -- where were my sons? My husband was there, later on, but without them. At that time, I was concerned that he had left them behind in some unfamiliar place in this exotic locale.

My dad, mom, and sister all decided to go swimming in the ocean, while I went to have lunch (possibly with Dwaine), and then we would all rendezvous and say our farewells before we parted and they went their separate way. So they went out into the ocean together, and I could see them in the shallow water, drifting near one another.

Later on, presumably after lunch, I was searching for them from above, from some coastline perhaps. There were a lot of people in the water. I was looking in a shallow pool-like area that was more enclosed, buffered from the ocean by a large sand brake (?)  in the water. It was hard to see anyone from the distance, but I thought they sure had been gone a long time. It was unlike them to swim for such a long time. I couldn't spot them; they were gone, somewhere in the deeper ocean, beyond my reach.

I can't tell you how sad this is, reflecting on it now. I never got to say goodbye to that family. It wasn't a neat, happy ending, the way we all thought it would be. Truthfully, we never thought of an ending at all.

Today in church I started bawling (silently) when the pastor, at the start of his sermon, decided to read "Where the Wild Things Are" -- all of it -- to the congregation, complete with pictures projected on the wall. For one thing, I adore this book. It's on my "bests" list. Then also, my mom must have read me this book, is what occurred to me. I think I was very young when she did.

I'm just glad I had the two oblivious family members with me. If Austin had been there, he would have been checking my reactions -- he knows I cry at anything, especially in church -- and he would have teased me to no end about breaking down over a children's book. How lame is that, to sob at the phrase "And they Roared their terrible roars, and Gnashed their terrible teeth, and Rolled their terrible eyes, and Showed their terrible claws ..." But ... it's just so beautiful! Literary, even. (Note: Austin goes to the Saturday service these days, where he plays guitar and hangs out with his girlfriend.)

Speaking of "Wild Things," whether teenagers or children's books -- the book is amazingly symbolic. That's why our pastor chose it. He called it scriptural, even. I want you to read it again and think of it as life's journey, in a sense. Have you faced your wild things and then returned home, to the place where someone loves you best of all?

My mom has been dead for 12 years now. To have her pop up in a dream, with no interruption or hiccup, with it seeming perfectly natural, is uncommon these days. But she was the most important person in my life for many years; arguably, she still is. She and I were together on the planet for 33 years, whereas I've been with this second family (complete with kids) under 20.

So I sense this great symbolism in the dream, in the fact that the ocean is where I leave my first family. They return to the deeper sea, not in a frightening way, but a way that naturally follows from the storyline. I often dream of the ocean, of its amazing power, and how it can be frightening and overwhelming, but when you get past that, it's so much like the raw energy of life. It's always taking you somewhere that is beyond your control, but it's a great adventure. I remember swimming with the sharks in one dream; realizing I should be afraid, but somehow I had gotten past the fear and was just swimming.

We have an upcoming trip to the coast, and I know I will reflect on my dream there while watching the waves, and the surf. And then there are those piercing images of the tsunami in Japan that I saw yesterday online. That tragedy is too big for words.

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