I had a profound dream the other night. I don’t know what prompted it. Perhaps I saw or heard something in passing that my subconscious registered while my conscious mind did not. In any case, it was one of those dreams that are so real, all of my senses were involved. It went back a good 40 years or so. My daughters were just little girls, perhaps ages 4 and 5. At first we are having a picnic at a part near where we lived at the time. The girls are playing on the jungle gym and dashing around. My oldest, a little less adventurous than her sister when it came to things like hanging upside down, was giving the climb her undivided attention. My younger daughter, the bold and daring one, fearlessly climbed and swung as if she had been born to it. Then the dream changed and the three of us are sitting on the sofa watching something on TV, a Disney show of some kind, I think. Both the girls have just come out of their baths and I can smell the “babyness” of them still even though being thought of as a baby was already, at 4 and 5, beneath their dignity! There was Tara, her beautiful brown eyes intently fixed on the screen and her curly hair made even curlier from the steam of the bath, and little Barbara, with her Buster Brown hair cut and impish blue eyes that found mischief wherever she looked.
I don’t know what made me wake up. Perhaps my dear cat, Laura, who decided that, although it is already light out before 6 a.m. these days, daylight means mealtime regardless of what the clock says, nuzzled me awake. Maybe it was a truck going by. All that I know is that when I woke up, I was crying. I hadn’t wanted to leave that dream. My “babies” were little again, and I got to hold them, and play with them, and start again, perhaps to do a better job than I did when I didn’t know any better. The feeling followed me all day. Where did it all go? How is it possible that my girls are approaching that dreaded cultural stamp of “middle age,” my youngest has a 23-year-old daughter who has made me a great-grandma, and my oldest grandson just graduated high school? Wait! Stop! I want a “do-over!” I want to go back and do it again, only better this time.
There is an anonymous quote that says:
“The past is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”
If there is one thing that can keep us from creating the authentic life we deserve, it’s in the past. Sure, there are some beautiful, very special memories that we certainly wouldn’t want to erase. Yet the past is where, through trial and error, we laid the foundation for the work that we are doing now. I don’t mean work in the career sense. I mean the work of becoming who we truly are and building a life that is truly ours. That dream was a message from my Witness who needed to remind me that my time with my girls taught me some very important things about myself, things that I may sometimes forget, or that I put on the back burner while I’m so busy making a life that I’m not actually living it.
No, I can’t go back and do it all again. Maybe, if those who believe in reincarnation are right, I may get a chance to be a Mom all over again and, maybe, I’ll be able to take the lessons I learned – both the failures and the successes – with me. On the other hand, maybe I can take what I’ve learned and use it now. Not only will it serve to make my authentic life even stronger, but it is something I can pass on to the generations that have come after me:
Hey, kids, never get so busy that you forget about things like hugs, and kisses, and fresh-out-of-the-bath baby smells, and little kid giggles, and picnics in the park, because one day you will wake up and they will all be gone.
This week over on the Home Page, we’re going to find a treasure that we want to share. You may have to do a little digging, but you won’t need any tools. You may, however, want to bring a box of tissues along.
Peace and blessings.