Dream Journey

Last night I dreamt of being in Paris again. I was not alone. A companion rode with me on a bus and together we scanned the streets and landmarks of the city. We were definitely searching for something: a place, a feeling, a recognizable and longed for destination.  The bus stopped and my friend decided to get off and search the immediate area. I was to go on in case what we sought was up ahead on the bus’s route.  Suddenly, I lurched toward the closing door, squeezing through to land on the sidewalk beside my friend. I reached for his hand and gasped out: “I may be lost, but I couldn’t bear to be lost without you beside me.”  

The next thing I remember was standing beneath  an old and much-loved oak tree  in coastal Mississippi. This one is on the family property in Ocean Springs, standing on the bluff overlooking the sound, the islands, and the gulf beyond. During my growing-up years, a crude rope swing was attached to a high curved branch. I loved taking turns with siblings and cousins; loved standing on a platform nailed to the side of the tree, the swing clasped tightly between my thighs; loved grasping the strong coarse  rope with both hands to push off and swing out in a thrilling circular arc, round and round, soaring high, dipping low, leaning back – long hair flying free, catching sunlight and shadow, then trailing the ground as momentum died down. Each time I went flying on that childhood swing, I relinguished my moment of glory with great difficulty, walked away with the dizzying rush of air still affecting my body – the spinning blue-green of foliage and sky still flashing before my eyes.

Fifty odd years later, post Katrina and post changes in family circumstances, the tree still stands, but no swing hangs from its battered and aging branches, and I gaze from a distance at remembered beauty and delight.  Yet my phantom Paris bus ride brought me to this spot and helped me to remember.

My dream wasn’t over; the dream bus whisked me to my own front door which swung open to welcome me home. Inside, fanned out on the floor at my feet are letters in all the colors of the rainbow. Letters to open or to send forth; I do not know.  The envelopes are pristine: beautiful paper in beautiful colors.  I see them still.

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2 Responses to “Dream Journey”

  1. Kendall Says:

    Wonderful coincidence! I also dreamed I was traveling last night. I landed in New Orleans with one large suitcase, no keys, and no money. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get home from the airport (where was home?)…and how I would get into the house when I got there. The dream ended with those questions. I like your dream better.

  2. leiflife Says:

    Well, darling… My dream got better in the retelling. You know… Looking on the bright side… What lovely message might I be receiving? We seem both to have been lost – or missing something. I had gone to bed exhausted from trying to keep up with grandchildren etc. The etc. has to do with the New York exhibit. I have somehow wound up as emissary between the gallery and my family. Many many emails… Frustration… Family Family Family… Where am I? Paris has certainly been on my mind. Has New Orleans been on yours? Bless you…

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