On the night of Halloween, I went to sleep, once again, to fly. The dream began in a fairytale landscape inside a forest of haunting beauty. Light glowed golden upon trees dancing with vines as my footsteps led me further into the heart of the wood. There was no fear, only wonder inside of me until I reached my destination. An old victorian house turned into an inn stood in the middle of the fairy woods. I went inside and felt the golden light of the forest disappear with the closing of the door.
“Come with me,” the inner keeper urged, “I will show you to your room.” I followed with reluctance. Each room, when I peered inside, looked old and drab. The bedroom I was offered was not only filled with old things, but it was in need of a good washing. I turned down the bedclothes to show the inn keeper how dirty they were. “I cannot stay here,” I said.
So we moved on. Each room we entered was little better than the one before. “Could you stay here?” he asked of a room that was neat and tidy, but still filled with old things. “I suppose it would do,” I offered in concession.
When he left, the room still felt occupied. I noticed a man and a woman in the corner. Ghosts of the past? I could not say for sure. Except I knew they had to go. And the room, well, I was not going to allow it to contain me. Left alone, I began to fly, clearing the darkness into light with great gulps of air expelled from my lungs and out of my mouth.
And as I flew and expelled the darkness, the house began to expand and grow into an endless maze of rooms. Skipping the lower levels, I zipped up the stairway until I reached the top floor. Here I found a scene of exquisite beauty painted in a mural upon a ceiling the color of a cloudless sky. I flew with joy, following the arch of the sky-like ceiling through an ever-expanding house.
On and on I flew, until I realized they were coming for me. Fear began to creep its darkness over joy. I could hear them approaching. Their angry words filtered up the stairway ever closer in their need to capture the woman who flew when she should be walking. I had no choice but to go down. And so down I went, floor by floor. But as I flew each level through endless rooms, I exorcised the darkness with my breath.
As my feet touched the ground floor, I realized gravity once again. Although I had evaded capture, surrounding me were the familiar markings of the mundane. All was brown and drab. Ordinary and old. My eyes searched until they found my feet upon the floor and I smiled. “Ha,” I laughed in realization. “Even here I can fly.” And so I lifted my feet and flew, once again, into joy.
Hour later, I walked into my friend Deb’s house and sat at her kitchen island with our friends, Sophia, Adrianne, and Jane. Dressed as a dragon in a purple and green onesie borrowed from my daughter, with silver fairies dangling from my ears, I was filled with a childlike giddiness. “What’s going on, Alethea?” Deb kept turning to look at me with a smile. “Why are you so happy?”
“I don’t know,” I returned her smile. “Maybe it has to do with my dream last night.”
Sometimes we heal in the day time, sometimes we heal at night. Thousands of years ago, we built temples for dreaming and inside we slept to heal our bodies, give clarity to our minds, and find a deeper understanding of the truths of our beings.
For as long as time has been recorded, poets, sages, and inventors have dreamt masterpieces while their bodies slumbered. I wonder how many people really believe that dreams are simply random, nonsensical ramblings of a mind left to wander with abandon?
Even as a young child I was fascinated with dreams. For awhile, I kept a dream journal. Sometimes I would dream an event before it would happen, and wonder how that could possibly be. There is so much more going on while we sleep than many of us realize. Although I cannot say with certainty what every dream means, nor can I recall them all in vivid detail. But, I am certain we dream with purpose. In the landscape of night we live out our fears and our joys, and sometimes we transform through them.
A month ago I felt as though I might be consumed by a fear I could not wholly define. It felt old and deeply rooted, its origins extending beyond this lifetime. The dreams of this past week have felt healing and transformative. There now exists inside of me a core of strength in the place that held that irrational fear. A sense that despite the demons that might howl around me, I will be okay.