Have you had the kind of dream where you’re sure that it’s real? When you’re in it you don’t question, but embrace it, though it’s jumbled? And it’s hodgepodge and murky and makes no sense whatsoever? And when you wake up you’re like “what the hell?” Have you had that kind of dream?
Of course you have.
Well I was walking along. It was balmy, it was sunny, on a road made of gravel, that went on like forever-for as far as my eyes could see anyway. The only sound was of birds singing and my feet shuffling. All around me were blooming cherries and magnolias. The air was fragrant, aromatic and delicious.
I thought this must be heaven.
I felt confident walking down the road. I had a sense of “right place, right time”, you know what I mean? Not a care or concern in the world.
I was taking in the scenery and feeling my stride when I saw a figure up ahead. It was at the end of the road coming toward me, steadily and deliberately.
I didn’t have an iota of fear.
In the dream I didn’t miss a step. My gait was determined. I continued ahead, as I said, all was good.
My arms kept swinging.
As it came into view I could see the figure was a man. He was walking in my direction at a pace that was non-threatening. And he was smiling. Even from that distance I could see the smile on the man’s face.
On the road in the dream, I felt somehow I knew him. You know, in that blurry but instinctive way one thinks and feels in dream? The only problem was, although I felt I knew the man, I couldn’t place the smile.
I was overcome with curiosity. Who was he and why? And what did it mean? You know how sometimes in dreams you know you’re dreaming and your logical self interrupts? Yeh, this was like that. But I fended off my confusion and kept on. And so did the man. I had a sense of anticipation and destiny and of fate.
At least that’s the way I remember it.
In a clearing ahead off the road came a picnic grove. It was on the side of a hill filled with blackberry bushes and sunflowers in full bloom and tall meadow grasses. A crowd of boisterous people were laughing and eating and carousing. I could see some folks playing music and there was singing and children running around- people simply enjoying the day.
And it was a beautiful day.
I could see in the dream this is where the man and I would meet. I could still see his smile and yes still felt perplexed. My mind tossed it over then it came to me at once: the smile was for me.
See, the man knew me too.
At the picnic grove we met, and stood face-to-face. The man opened his arms to take me in an embrace. It was awkward and though I still couldn’t get past the man’s smile, I knew I had a choice. All was jumbled and hodgepodge and murky for sure, but I decided to accept the embrace. I was dumbfounded and tongue-tied while we hugged on the road. But the only thing I could muster was “Dad?”