The Dreams (The admission of which confirms I am utterly crazy…)
One of my commenters reminded me of two dreams I had years ago. I wrote them down in my old diary on OD.
The first dream was in 2008, long before I had ever even heard of orphan hosting or gave any thought to children in eastern European nations. We started hosting kids in 2012, about four years later.
I had to go back and search for the diary entry in my OD WordPress back up entries. Luckily I found it. I couldn’t remember all the details of the dream. If I couldn’t find the entry it would have driven me crazy!
Here it is:
I had the strangest dream this morning, and I’m not sure what to make of it.
I dreamt I was walking through a village. It was somewhere warm, for some reason I think it was in Australia.
Then I walked out of the village and I came upon a line of people, all dressed alike in Russian style clothing. They were wearing fur hats, long coats. They were walking together in a long line, carrying suit cases and belongings. There were families all together, holding hands and ushering small children along so that they didn’t wander away and get left behind.
I didn’t understand why these strangely dressed people were walking so sadly and carrying all their things in the middle of a warm Australian day.
I stood to the side, watching them approach me. They were walking up hill and the village was laid out below us, beyond the village I could see the sea.
As they filed past me, they were headed towards a small steep hill. The leader of the line stopped everyone, and all the children ran to the front. He spoke to them in a language I didn’t understand. I asked him, who are you and why are you here? He said to me, I care especially for the children. I want to help them. Then a little boy ran out of the group of chattering children and grabbed my legs. The man said to me, Ah here he is. He has been excited to meet you. He is yours.
I was very confused, but despite the confusion I felt overwhelming love and compassion for this tiny boy, wearing a fur hat much too big for his head, and clutching my legs. He was grinning up at me. I could see locks of thick dark hair under his hat and his eyes were brown with flecks of green that seemed to sparkle in the light.
Then I felt a chill run through my body as I realized he was purple and black. The colors around him, I mean.
I have only seen a handful of people in my life edged in purple and black. They were dying, it only comes before you die, when your body is preparing itself and your soul has begun communicating with that place on the other side of this life, where light and dark are one.
But this small boy, he was so strong and healthy looking. His arms were thick, his face had healthy red cheeks.
I stared down at his shining face for the longest time.
Then I remembered the leader, standing in front of me still helping the children climb up. I opened my mouth to ask him why my boy was colored with death, but before I could formulate the words and send them out of my mouth there was music.
My cell phone was ringing, and I was awake. And now I don’t know. How will I ever figure out what this dream means?
Could this boy in my dream have been M? I have no idea. But…M has some extra medical needs. He requires American quality medical care and proper nutrition to fully live.
I had completely forgotten about this dream. When I reread it I got chills.
The second dream happened when I had my miscarriage, the night the baby lost his heartbeat. This was also in 2008.
I was with Tyler, in the dream, and we were walking somewhere very hot. It felt like Mexico, with a desert climate, but we were near the water. Everything was happy, and then suddenly my heart jumped in my throat with the stark realization that I couldn’t find my child. Rosie was in Tyler’s arms but I was missing another child.Tyler didn’t understand my urgency. I ran towards the water in the distance. After what seemed like forever, we came to a wooden dock. It was so hot, the wood was burning my bare feet. The heat was oppressive, rising in shimmering waves from the wood beneath our feet, and I felt as if my lungs were having a hard time expanding fully. It was sandy, and I could feel sand crunch in my teeth. I tried to spit but my mouth was too dry. Tyler and Rosie came up behind me. I was staring out over the water, desperately searching for any sign of a ship. My missing child was on a ship somewhere–I was afraid he had snuck onto a boat and then it had sailed away and he would be lost to me forever.
There was a long period of panic, frantic pacing, staring out over the water, trying to get Tyler to understand that our child was missing. He understood, but he wasn’t frantic like I was and I couldn’t figure out why. This went on for several hours, time passed so slowly. My feet were burning, my skin felt like it was baking under the brutal sun. It was so bright, we were squinting and my eyes were aching.
Out of nowhere a big white ship, a yacht, silently and smoothly appeared to my left, stopping at the dock. I looked up, and there at the rail was my son!? He was smiling and happy. He reached for me, and before I could blink he was at my side. He was three or four years old, with brown hair, and big brown eyes. Then the captain of the boat was there. He was old and plump, with white hair and a captain’s hat on. He was wearing a white sailor’s suit. He had a round white beard and dark eyes.
I demanded to know where my son had been, and I thanked him for bringing him back to me. I was so suspicious–wondering if he was a kidnapper. At the same time I was angry that he had taken my son away on the ship rather than looking for me. But none of those things mattered as much as the complete and total joy I felt at seeing my boy there, safe, reaching out his arms for his mother to love him.
I tried to pick him up, to carry him back into the desert, back to our home, where ever that was. But the captain stopped me by gently grabbing my arm. I was terrified, my heart was breaking. I just wanted to take my son and go. The captain told me that he had to stay, he had to go back onto the ship. He couldn’t leave with me now. At first I didn’t understand. It felt the same as if would if Rosie were being taken from me. I cried, I protested, I pleaded. My little boy. He was mine and I was powerless to keep him. My son was standing at my feet with his arms around my legs. The captain told me I had to say goodbye to him, that he had to go on this voyage and it was important. There was no way around it, no way to get out of it.
Suddenly I understood. I grasped the importance of the voyage, I understood that the captain’s plans had a higher purpose than my own.
But I still loved him. I couldn’t let him go on that ship without me. He needed his mother, just as I needed him. I bent down and looked in his eyes. Brown, with flecks of green strewn throughout. He hugged me and as I felt his little arms around my neck, his cheek against mine, I understood that he was ok. I said goodbye to him. He never spoke, but everything in his eyes told me enough. I ran my fingers through his hair. I smelled the top of his head, such a sweet smell. I kissed his soft cheeks and his little nose. I stared back into his eyes in silence for the longest time. I sensed no fear from him, no trepidation. Only happiness and calm, which reassured me. It was the only thing that gave me the courage to let him go.
Then before I was ready, because when would I ever be ready, he ran into the captain’s open arms. The captain threw him up in the air and caught him, and the boy giggled. The captain hugged him to his chest, just like I longed to do, and they slowly climbed up the ladder into the boat.
Tyler stood with his arm around me, and we waved goodbye as the boat sailed off into the distance. I could see my son standing at the railing waving back, a huge grin on his face.
I felt again like my lungs couldn’t fill with air. The feeling of loss and sadness was crushing. The only reassurance I had, as Tyler kept reminding me, was that he was happy on the ship. He wanted to go. The captain loved him and would take good care of him. It wasn’t that he was being snatched from my arms, he was going willingly, happily, excited, and loved by his family and the captain who was caring for him.
I didn’t understand where they were going or why, or when I would see him again, and that made me cry with a desperate feeling of longing.
Then Tyler led Rosie and me back into the desert, away from the dock. We were walking so slowly, towards something, our home maybe…it was unclear. All I could do was put one foot in front of the other as waves of emotion crashed over me. I couldn’t even see where I was going.
And then I woke up in my bed, with Rosie nursing at my side, and I was empty. I laid there for a little while, savoring the smell of the top of his head, the feel of his skin against mine, the way his cheeks felt under my lips as I kissed him goodbye. Taking in the full memory.
This is the picture the host family from this past summer sent of M to use for his bio on the photo listing for this winter.