Friday, June 5, 2009

Bearing Down

I had a dream last Saturday night that begged for interpretation.

tornado I was driving in upstate New York, likely the NYS Thruway between Utica and Herkimer.  There was an unidentified little girl in the front passenger seat and my seventeen year old daughter was in the back seat, with her head up near the front so she could talk to me.  I was traveling east on the Thruway and it was dusk.  The sky had a sort of clear purple color that was darkening.  I looked into the rearview mirror and saw a tremendous black tornado bearing down on the car (looked exactly like the above picture – it’s like someone was in my brain and snapped a photo.).

For one second, I pressed on the gas and thought I could outrun it.  My daughter saw it behind us and shouted at me to go faster.  Wasn’t going to work though.  I looked on both sides of the car for a place to hide.  There was a small shallow ditch on the driver side and a deeper wider expanse on the passenger side.  It was doubtful that we would be able to get out of the car and get to a place low enough before the tornado consumed us.

At this point, I was conscious enough to begin to manipulate the dream, getting us into the big ditch to safety.  I do not consider this part of the actual dream since I woke myself up. 

I dream a lot, but it’s only the dreams that stick that are the ones that cry out to our conscious to be clarified.  This one demanded to be understood.

Was I running from something?  Was something bearing down on me?  Was it prophetic – were there storms on the way of which I was blissfully unaware? 

I rarely have luck interpreting my own dreams – my daughter is good at it, Starbuck is good at it, but it is Guest Blogger-who-hasn’t-blogged-for-me-in-years who has a remarkable sense of what my dreams mean.  And she should – I do the same for her; we’ve been translating each other’s dreams for years.  We have a good sense of personal symbolism and the sort of things that tic our subconscious. 

So my daughter considered that I had been viewing my past – one full of turmoil and upheaval, the future was ahead and clear and I was driving right into it.  Not bad.  Starbuck wondered the what the tornado could symbolize.  Guest Blogger-who-hasn’t-blogged-for-me-in-years just smiled and said, “The tornado is time.”

You could have punched me in the gut.  That’s when I know an interpretation is on the mark.  It feels right.  The ah-ha moment.

Step aside for a moment to consider – oldest son is married and doing well in his work, pursuing a degree in human services.  Middle boy has just graduated the most difficult educational program the Navy has to offer – Nuclear Engineering – and will be headed out into the murky depths within a year.  But now - the baby that I nursed those years ago is graduating high school in less than a month, and soon to embark on higher education, a major life change on her horizon.

The tornado is Time.  It’s bearing down on me.  The little girl in the front seat is my daughter as a toddler and she’s also in the back seat, a woman.  Me?  Arthritis.  Progressive Lenses.  Middle age.  Wrinkles.  Surprised at the changes when they crop up.  Identifying them.  Combating them.  Coming to terms with them.  Then enjoying it when I see others as they find themselves on the same track.

The tornado is Time.  I can’t outrun it, and though I didn’t realize it, I still try.  I realized though, that as my daughter is headed toward a new and entirely unchartered course in her life, so am I. 

Time.  I was a daughter for 19.5 years.  A wife for 15 years.  Caretaker of the same dog for 16 years.  But I’ve been a mother of dependent children for coming up on 25 years. 

Time.  This is going to be new and unchartered for me too.  It’s pretty exciting.  No bailing out of the car on this one.  It’s time.


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