I have a dream, always the same dream, on many occasions, since I was a young child… always the same dream. The people in the dream change, the place that the dream happens changes… the premise stays the same though — a tornado is after me and I can’t out run it. I try — I run as fast as I can, jumping fences and ponds, scaling walls and sliding down unknown paths, when I can’t run any farther, I hide in the most distant corner of my dream, I even yell at myself in the dream to “Wake Up!”. The tornado always catches me — then I wake up breathless, scared, eyes out of focus, stumbling in the dark — the same dream… ever since I was a child.
I guess, at this point, trying to pretend that my most recent dream was anything other than a tornado chasing me down while I frantically tried to run from it as I’m guarding my loved ones from its path — would be pointless. It was, in fact, a tornado dream. One of the most vivid tornado dreams I’ve ever had — with a few plot twists that I’ll share.
I was at my parents house this time — my childhood home. There wasn’t just one huge tornado as is always the case with this dream… there were many, hundreds even. And they were water spouts — not necessarily tornadoes (I know water spouts don’t actually occur in Tennessee but you know, it was a dream). I was looking out the front door, talking with my father about the best course of action to take in order to avoid complete and total annihilation… staring at these water spouts surrounding our home as they readied themselves to unleash a fury of pain upon us. Then, as sometimes is the case in my dreams as well as real life, I opened the door and walked out towards the water spouts. I thought I could wrestle them while everyone else stayed safe in the house, I thought they would go away and leave us alone.
So, I approached the closest water-spout and realized I had made a terrible mistake. I turned to go back to the semi-shelter of the house with my mother and father, but it was too late. I was knocked to the ground by the water-spout and began rolling about uncontrollably. I was able to grab a handful of grass from underneath me and clung to it to steady myself. The water-spout crashed over me like a wave in the ocean and my feet were lifted off the ground so that I was doing a hand stand as I continued to cling to the grass. There was water everywhere as I was submerged in unrelenting wave after unrelenting wave… and then I remembered — I love water.
I love the ocean and playing in the waves and being tossed around like a rag doll and steadying my feet in the sand at the edge of the water and diving deep underneath the crashing waves… I smiled. I let go of one hand and looked towards my parents who were standing in the doorway observing the chaos and I gave them a “thumbs up” (I might have winked as well, you never know — it’s my dream).
So there I was… upside down in the front yard, clinging by one hand to the grass below me, drenched in the most beautiful blue salt water, giving a “thumbs up” to my parents and a coy smile — and the water-spout was gone. Just like that — gone. I felt so self-assured, so confident… I stood up and moved towards the next water-spout and then — I awoke.
For years I have been fleeing those tornadoes — for years I have been trying to out run those damned tornadoes. I never could, they were always faster and stronger and I always woke up breathless and scared. Until this one night when I stood my ground, this one night that I didn’t run, this one night I grabbed on to the smallest blade of grass and I realized I didn’t need to flee the moment. I realized that some moments just take more patience and hesitation and assistance — some moments take assistance. So I’m daring myself to get up off the ground and move towards the tornadoes to see where they toss me. What about you? Any tornadoes tossing you around?
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