Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013
A Dream Comes TruePosted Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at 10:08 AM
I've been dreaming this same scene since my childhood years, a dream that returns to me once every six months or so.
I'm standing on a sheet of ice. There's ice everywhere, as far as the eye can see. I'm somewhere far away from civilization where no one will hear my voice no matter how loud I scream. I've somehow left the comfort of my heated dwelling and can't get back in. No one else is present.
I'm screaming at the top of my lungs but that changes nothing about my situation. I can hear the wind blowing, continuously.
The scene ends with me getting colder and colder.
And then I wake up.
I can remember having that dream as far back as the age of two, a fact that my parents would confirm if they were still alive. I have several "repeating" dreams and they used to joke that they could tell the time of the year by which nightmares I was having as I crawled into the safety of their bed.
I know I'm not the only person who has this type of experience. I've attended workshops by experts of a wide variety who have a wide variety of explanations. I've had people tell me that the ice represents certain types of feelings I'm repressing (Freudian). I've had some tell me that the scene represents an archetype of how I live my life (Jungian). I've had others tell me that I'm remembering something from a past life.
I've even been told that it represents the isolation of my political views.
There are all kinds of dreams that we have. I could explain the psychology of the five states of sleep and the types of dreams represented by each one. I could also share stories of dreams that have "come true" as if they were markers of future paths and choices.
I've had people tell me that they dreamed in advance of meeting their partners. I've had parents tell me of the specific dreams they've had regarding the death of a child, a dream whose details become reality.
This dream of mine is simply a part of who I am and I've come to appreciate that I may never be able to explain it. All of us have those quirks, those unique experiences that we have that others don't (or at least never talk about having). They shape us in a way.
We would not be who we are if we didn't have them. One of mine simply happens to be the dreams that I've had since childhood that repeat every so often. And one of those repeating childhood dreams involves being alone in a world of ice.
February 2nd was the day that our county and most of central Indiana was shut down by the ice storm. The power had been out for about five hours, the house was beginning to get cold, and I was waking from a nap.
I really wasn't quite myself when I decided to go out and see if the mail had arrived. I put on my hat and coat and heard the front door close behind me. I had somehow slid to the mailbox without falling when it suddenly dawned on me that going back to the house would be all uphill.
I suddenly woke up, fully awake, when I heard the wind blowing across that sheet of ice that covered hundreds of miles. I shuddered, not from the cold but from the realization that I might fall and get hurt and not make it safely back to the house.
Who would hear my cries for help? Who would help me get back to safety?
Luckily for me I somehow made it back to the door. Thankfully my keys were in my pocket and I got back inside into the safety of a cold house that wasn't as cold as outside. The power came back on about an hour later.
Over the last two weeks life has slowly returned to normal. With the "heat wave" we're now experiencing I can finally see my driveway once again.
And yet, I've not had a full night's sleep in two weeks.
I awake to the sound of the wind blowing over the ice.
P.T. Wilson is the senior pastor at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Greencastle, and is also the University Chaplain at DePauw University.