I have had several more dreams – all again continuing where the previous left off. I don’t really know how to explain how that is happening, or rather, I don’t actually know. I suppose now I do have a strong desire to immerse myself back into this world, so I have this held into my mind as I drift off asleep each night. And each dream is not merely a continuation of some random collection of places, times and Greatma – I can feel the meaning within each unfolding. Where this all leads, I am not quite sure, but I am excited to keep following it! So, the first of the recent dreams was short. I was standing now, at the same spot as before in the woods, with Greatma still in the meadow. I was excited – really excited and my excitement seemed to somehow shake the air and earth and this seemed to startle or even scare Greatma and she started to walk away. I wanted her to stay where she was – so much- and I started to tremble- and she walked further and further away. She was soon out of sight and I must have woken up – as there was no more memory of that dream.
The next night, the next dream, I was standing there again, in the woods. And Greatma, she was there too again, in the meadow. I felt myself trying to make sure I kept myself calmer than the night before. I was taking measured, slow deep breaths, and following them – and this worked to calm me. I then felt the gentleness of the dream all around me again – the nurturing air, the soaring birds and cluster flies, the damp mosses and crinkly crab apple trees. I was standing there and as I was watching her, I was trying so hard to study her as she collected the seeds. As I did this, well, examination, she simply walked away, and as I tried to follow her, I woke up.
The next dream, I was stuck – not physically you see. I wanted to see Greatma – but I also knew that everything I did to try to see her, made her go away and end the dream. I was stuck as to what to do to get to Greatma’s attention. I looked around me, down at my feet and saw some pinecones. I thought of something! Something playful yet clever, at least to my mind – pinecones are soft yet aerodynamic – so I picked one up and threw it towards Greatma! I have fairly good aim and wasn’t worried about hitting her, plus it is fairly soft in the worst case. But oh, what an idiot I am! My ‘playful’ act to get her attention was really stupid! The pinecone landed a few feet from her, but because of its non-uniform shape, like a rugby ball, it bounced at a funny angle. I was horrified as I saw it ricochet off the ground straight towards her face! Sure, it is somewhat soft, but not that soft and she is old! It all seemed in slow motion, and, as it was a dream, perhaps it was all slowed down. But as I felt the guilt of my brash decision bubbling up inside me as the pinecone approached her face, it disappeared even quicker. This is because right before that pinecone hit Greatma’s face, she pulled a Karate-Kid wax-on move and karate chopped that pinecone into next week! Bam! That woke me straight up!!
I didn’t dream the next night, but I did the night after that. I was back to being ‘stuck’. I wasn’t going to throw anything else that was for sure! I wasn’t going to stare at her either. So, where did that leave me? Stuck again. So, I stood there, looking at my feet and trying not to feel like there was an elephant in the room, so to speak. What to do, what to do? I know, I thought- and I set off and collected all the largest sticks that were around on the ground in the woods. Some sticks were a bit deeper into the woods, some nearby, and some were actually a bit closer to the meadow. I paid the sticks’ locations little mind and brought them all to the edge of the woods. I would sometimes look up and see Greatma – as she continued her work of collecting. After a while, I had enough sticks to start building a stick hut- though in my dream it was supposed to be a fort. I wanted to play with GreatMa you see. I was inviting her to come and play as I placed stick on top of crossed stick, over and over. I kept peeking over to look at Greatma and I noticed during a couple of my glances that she was facing me. I didn’t hold those glances long enough to tell if she was, in fact, looking back at me, but I am pretty sure she was. It felt very strongly as if I stared at her, she would not keep looking at me and would walk away again – and I didn’t want that! So, I kept my glances just that- just a glance and not a stare, not even really a look. As I was on the meadow’s edge now, I grabbed some tall grass and started tying the crossed corners of the sticks together. I was feeling more and more pride in my fort, my hut, and surely GreatMa would be amazed at my creation and accept my wonderful invitation! As I feel these prideful thoughts build inside of me, I finish up the last corner and the hut is done. But I find that I am standing alone inside it, barely able to see out past the thick sticks. I find a gap and look, look into the meadow for GreatMa – and she’s off into the distance, walking away, with her seed bag full on her shoulder. I feel defeated- that is- until I notice she stops. She places her bag down and turns around and looks at me! Then waves!!! I am not sure if the dream would have continued, but I burst with excitement so much that I woke straight up!
In the following night’s dream, I am still in my fort, my hut. I am now sitting, light splintering though the sticks, casting stripes of shadows and light across my face and arms and body. I am not moving, I’m just sitting there, feeling the sun and air – and thinking inside my dream – thinking about how my fort felt correct in someways, yet why was it still not quite right for GreatMa? As I am sat there thinking these thoughts, I notice a squirrel bobbing and scurrying through the fallen leaves and pine needles. It’s foraging – seeking, finding and collecting food. I keep watching it and it does it so seemingly without effort – it just keeps moving and lifting leaves and twigs and pebbles, and sometimes there’s a seed, but most of the time there’s not, and yet it just keeps moving. It is working hard but it seems effortless all the same, and I begin to notice that its movement amongst the undergrowth is that not simply of an uncoordinated animal, but it is elegant. So elegant – and graceful, in fact, that I realized that this squirrel was dancing! A beautiful dance that was a natural outflowing of its effortless effort. My mouth fell open in amazed wonderment and then naturally closed as a huge smile grew on my face. I watched this in awe and amazement, yes, but also in deep reverence – and recognition in some fashion. The squirrel danced and danced, doing its job of life without effort, yet it was exhausting itself at the same time – I started to notice and my simple watching became staring and thinking. I began thinking all about this– and I kept staring and thinking… That is when the squirrel simply ran up the backside of a tree, out of my view. I realized that my probing, my over-thinking, instead of simply fully immersing watching the impossible dancing squirrel, was what triggered the critter’s retreat. When I had a simple, calm, open mind – I felt I somehow understood the dance. When I began thinking about it, over and over, my understanding retreated as with the squirrel. That is when I realized that I now knew how to keep Greatma from leaving– and with that realization, as on cue, I awoke.
In my next dream, I found myself right at the boundary of the woods and meadow, the transition area of crabapple trees and small bushes with grasses where mice play and enjoy the early evening warm air. I see GreatMa, and she is collecting as usual, and I simply watch her as she does this. I hear the crackle of the dried husks as she frees the trapped nourishment inside. I notice all this, so much more so than previously, yet she continues and doesn’t walk away. This is because I am simply watching, not thinking about why she is moving her thumbs a certain way when cracking the grains, or something like that. And in my simply watching, I am learning so much more about her- so much more is opening up to me. As I hear another crackle between her thumb and seed, I believe she is humming, or softly singing perhaps, as a warm glowing smile beams on her face. I could smell the sweet deliciousness of her warm oatmeal raisin cookies in the air – some must have been around but I wasn’t looking for them anymore! My simply watching went on for some time in my dream, and I simply just looked at her effortless work. I listened to the grasses sway in rhythm to GreatMa’s humming, punctuated with the gentle crackling and tapping of the seeds like a drum set’s high hat. It was, well, simply like an orchestra. In one of the moments, I noticed something about her – she was getting exhausted. This made me immediately think – what am I doing just watching her? I need to help her! Without hesitation I walked straight over to GreatMa, looked her in the eyes and said, “I love you GreatMa and I am here now. I will help you”. Her gaze into my eyes was amazing – She looked so young inside those eyes – and she was smiling so broadly- she was so happy to see me! We opened our arms at the same time as she said “I love you too Richie Boy. I am collecting many things, many seeds, but let’s also gather oatmeal for some cookies to bake”. As she said this, we were already in a deep, warm, love-filled embrace.