Dream of my Childhood Paradise

As the day of my departure draws near, I notice my dream life intensifying. The dreams continue to inform me and aid me in answering the questions: What longing or wound calls me to embark on this pilgrimage? What is my intention? Why such an adventure?

In the dream, I jump in a taxi and suddenly realize we are near the street where I grew up. Excited, I ask the driver to take a left and we are driving along the street where the brook flows. I exclaim, “See that brook down there!? That’s where I spent the most magical times of my childhood!” I am so impressed by how lush and pristine it all looks. The water is flowing even more abundantly than I had remembered and the trees were bigger and greener and create a huge canopy over the road. I think how wonderful and surprising it is that this natural place of my childhood still exists — that is has not been destroyed by development. As we drive along there is water everywhere and it is as if we are driving in a river. I am excited to arrive soon at the house I grew up in and I wake up.

The dream was so vivid of those halcyon days of youth spent outside. I remember well the “big tree” I used to climb, the “glen” where water dripped down a little waterfall (I wonder now if that was real or a man-made fountain?) and the wilder places beyond our suburban yard. When I was eleven I was told we were moving to New York City and I remember crying for weeks when I heard the news. While I eventually adjusted and loved the city life, I am keenly aware that this rupture of my intimate relationship with the wild world at such a tender age is a wound I have spent much of my life trying to heal. This dream visited reminding me that I am still seeking expression of this connection, this deep love. Can pilgrimage, protest and walking contemplation heal me and, in the process, contribute to the healing of the world?