This week I dreamed that Jack and I were on a steep, forested hillside. There were tall fir trees and a good amount of deadfall on the ground. Jack was inching on his backside down the mountain, and I struggled to climb over and around the fallen trees to keep up with him.
As we pushed our way downward, a huge log broke loose from the hillside and rolled to the river below. It splashed in the water and floated downstream.
Jack followed the log, jumping in the river. I jumped in, too, terrified. Jack doesn’t swim. Rivers are swift. I’m not strong enough to hold Jack and myself afloat.
I called out to Jeff, who was standing partway up the hill with the other boys, “Jack’s in the river! Help!”
He called back, unfazed, “Just get out.”
I looked ahead and saw an eddy dividing the swift part of the river on the left, from the quiet, protected shallows near the bank on the right. Jeff was right. It would be easy to get out.
Why hadn’t I thought of it?
The dream ended as I plotted how to grab Jack and pull him to the bank.
Good news is, I’m dreaming again.
Still, I don’t know exactly what to make of this dream.
I remember I stopped panicking when Jeff told me to get out the river with Jack. I could see a space to exit the water. But when the dream stopped, Jack and I were still in the rushing river. We hadn’t made it out yet.
As I typed the last sentence, I felt the meaning of the dream crystallize. I interpreted my own dream, people.
It isn’t over. We aren’t out of the river. We are still being pulled by the cold current.
But I know there is a way to climb to safety. There is hope.
Aren’t dreams lovely little allegories?