The First Dream
Itís that time of year between winter and spring when the earth is starting to change its appearance. The calendar says in two weeks spring will begin, but Godís calendar is different. Iíve seen spring come early in March and also Iíve seen snow in April... there is no certain day. Trees and bushes are starting to bud and the grass is looking fresh and new.
After the long, gray, cold winter days with heavy snow and everything being barren I notice the sun is gradually making its way north giving a little warmth to the land. Along the fence in my backyard I notice the forsythia bushes are getting a yellow tint, one of the first flowers to bloom. Tulips and flags are also popping through the ground. It will soon be time to set my plants out so they can grow and bloom. I so enjoy looking at all the flowers once they start blooming. Every spring there are flowers peeking through places that I had forgotten I even planted the bulbs. Nice little surprises that produce a smile. God has given us the most beautiful things. We need to take more time just to look at everything he has given us to enjoy.
Not having any special plans for my day I make a cup of mint tea and go out to my sun porch, my favorite place to be on such a glorious morning. The sun provides the warmth in this room because of all the windows on three sides. My husband had this room built onto the south side of our house for the most sun exposure. It was a present to us for our 40th wedding anniversary. I remember when we discussed this project we couldnít believe that the children were grown and gone living their own lives. The years go by so fast and we were probably in the middle years of our life. Time just seemed to get away from us, there were still so many things we wanted to do before we got old.
Relaxing, drinking my tea and enjoying the morning, my life is pretty much routine; nothing exciting happens anymore. But then older peopleís lives are meant to be slow and pleasant and enjoyable. Reclining my head back on the cushion of my old rocker, my teacup empty my mind goes blank. The sun is warm on my face and I doze into sleep.
I seem to be in a heavy fog drifting along very slowly. Itís like looking out of an airplane window as you are going through the clouds. There are no white puffy clouds that I like to look at from my yard, just the white-gray ones. Is this ever going to end? I see some darkness ahead; what could that be?
Suddenly, I see mountain peaks, very pointed, covered with snow and ice. Drifting out of the clouds I notice a circle of clouds surrounding the mountain peaks. Looking at them from this angle is very different than seeing them from the ground. Iím beginning to get an idea of just how big this mountain range is... it boggles the mind. This high up on the mountain Iím sure it must be very cold and freezing, but I donít feel the cold. I do hear the wind... isnít that strange.
Iím drifting from one mountain peak to another with no clue where Iím going. I have no control over which direction Iím being taken. Ever so slowly I start to come down below the snow line on the mountain. The farther down I go I notice the snow is disappearing and the land is barren just before the pine trees start. Iím not afraid; itís like I belong here, believing there has to be a purpose for everything that happens in a personís life I wonder why Iím experiencing this.
There are so many pine trees. They are so dark green it reminds me of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Drifting closer to the pines I can actually smell the scent. Drifting to the edge of the pines I see movement, it looks like a herd of deer except they are larger. Could they be elk? As I drift down farther there is a carpet of green that covers the hillside and extends down into the valley below.
Iím starting to see houses dotting the hillsides. Itís a birdís eye view of the scene before me, like a picture in a storybook. Looking back up at the mountains I see the tallest peak sticking out of a flat cloud that looks like an upside down plate, such an amazing sight to behold. I wonder what country Iím visiting. The countries of Switzerland, Norway, or perhaps Sweden come to mind. Iíve never visited any European countries. Iím very curious to know why Iím here now in this dream.
Drifting down the steep side of the mountain being closer to the ground, I pass several little houses that are not anything like American homes. The backs of these houses are built into the ground, which makes since when building on the slopes of the mountain. I come to a stop midway down at a house that is uniquely different from the others Iíve passed.
Itís a chalet with high pointed roof, rough wood exterior, brown and weathered. Like the others the back is built into the ground. Windows cover the whole front of the house and there is a deck across the front surrounded by railing. Looking over the railing I see that the ground is a good ways down which means the deck had to be supported by wood stilts or some kind of deck material. The cutest little chair made of small logs, sits on the deck; it looks homemade. There are flower boxes on the railing filled with greenery and flowers.
What a beautiful place. Rustic, romantic, a loverís hide-a-way some would say. I wonder who the people are that live in this little chalet. Could this place be for sale?
(What am I thinking? This is a dream)
Now that Iím on the deck I have control and can walk around on my own. Wandering to the edge of the deck, I look down into the valley below. There is a rather large stream running the whole length of the valley. At one end there appears to be a lake or dam. Numerous little villages can be seen along the waterway. Across the valley there are more mountains with snow-capped peaks like the ones I drifted over earlier.
Afternoon shadows are creeping in. The sun is moving towards the mountains on the other side of the valley facing the house. I walk back to the big windows and look in, but I canít see much. The glass reflects the mountains across the valley and even cupping my hands around my face itís too dark inside to see.
Moving to the side rail of the deck there is a set of steps that end where a path begins. The path goes steeply down into one of the larger villages just below and is well worn. Whoever uses this path must make a lot of trips down to the village. I canít imagine climbing up that path every day... especially in winter.
This would be a really beautiful spot for summer vacations. No close neighbors and you would only have contact with other people if you chose to. While reading and listening to music the days would pass ever so pleasantly. Of course, I canít forget that a person has to eat so a food supply would have to be obtained. No interruptions from cell phones, television, computers, and all the other things that exist in the fast paced world that I live in.
Still looking down at the village I notice movement on the path. A man and his dog are making their way up the hill. He stops every now and then and looks around. The climb is steep and he probably needs to catch his breath. The dog is way ahead of him and bounds up on the deck. I jump back, but he comes and stands in front of me whining and barking. Maybe he senses me there. Animals have a sixth sense about things that humans canít detect. I want to hide before the man gets to the house, then I remember.
(This is a dream; he canít see me.)
So, I watch as the man reaches the steps to the deck. He grabs hold of the handrail to walk up. He is tired as he climbs to the deck. I didnít hear the man speak, but he must have said something because the dog turned and went over to him.
His hair is snow white and hangs to his shoulders. Thereís a little wave and it curls up on the ends. Heís basically bald on top and the sides are very thin, but his face is a blur. He carries a rugged, black walking stick and has a brown backpack. Stepping onto the deck he waits for a minute trying to get his breath. He then walks to the front of the deck, and stands there looking up at the mountains across the valley. As close as I am to him I still canít see his face. Iím feeling a since of sadness for him as he turns and walks to the sliding glass door. He opens it and enters what must be the main room of the house. The dog turns and looks in my direction then goes inside and the man closes the door.
A dim light appears inside and I start toward the windows again thinking Iíll be able to see the interior. Halfway there I find myself losing control. Iím drifting away from the deck. I grab hold of the railing, but as hard as I try to keep my hands on the railing, itís to no avail. The scene before me is fading.
Waking suddenly, I sit upright in my rocker with a feeling of disappointment. The dream was still so real. I catch my teacup as it rolls off my lap. I look around the room... what Iím looking for Iíve no idea. The sun has made this room hot today. I need to go outside where itís cooler and clear my head. What a strange dream. There was no ending, but then some dreams are like that. Itís the kind of dream that stays with you for days on end. You would like to go back and try to make a connection, which never happens.
Even now as I walk out into my back yard Iím remembering the man, whose face I couldnít see, and his dog; the cute chalet house situated on the green hillside of the mountains. Where could this place be? Maybe someday God will allow me to go there again and see the ending to this dream. That would be a surprise.
I need to take the last load of clothes out of the dryer and press some cotton shirts, and by then it will be time to visit my neighborís wife, Mable Hyatt, who is in a nursing home. While Iím in Hillstown I will pick up a few groceries to save on gas; itís so expensive these days.