The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
From Twas the Night Before Christmas: A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore
I miss the dreams I had as a kid, flights of fancy so feathered and unfettered, I hated to wake up. I’d soar off cliffs and over seas. Oh, how I would fly! Or, I went on daring spy capers, intricate plots surpassing anything Ian Fleming, John le Carré, Tom Clancy, or Robert Ludlum could devise.
At a young age, I was a seasoned warrior—the victor of many dream battles, some won only by waking. And when a monster came to call, one beyond my ability to defeat, I still had an escape—the ability to soar away, high over its grinning maw.
I know. We grow up and get busy with work, bills, kids, and problems like taxes, unfaithful significant others, and health issues. We’re weighted by worries, pain, and loss. So tethered to the earth, who can possibly soar in a dream?
Lately, my dreams have become angst-ridden things, like hands fluttering. Recently, I dreamed I had an advisor who had the look of Matt Smith from Doctor Who, all gangly and twitchy.
He handed me a paper with a big red F on it, then proceeded to harangue me for not having my entire novel written before the end of the semester. Though I pleaded with him, the grade remained unchanged, a beacon to my incompetence in his eyes.
At other times, I’ve had the dreams many of us have—not enough credits to graduate; the discovery of a paper due minutes before class; tests for which I didn’t study. Oh, the scenario has switched sometimes: buses and trains I missed; endless train journeys I’ve taken, but never to reach my destination; cars misplaced or stolen.
Life in my dream state. Sometimes I don’t recall my dreams upon waking. Still, a lingering feeling of anxiety drifts after me into the day like a dark cloud, and I’m grateful I don’t recall the plotline of that particular nightmare.
Maybe my waking dreams need to be taken up and flapped and snapped like a rug—to shake away the dust and sediment of doubt or despair. Or, maybe they need to be gussied up—brushed and curled and reminded that they exist, that they are beautiful and possible, and that the time to realize them is, and always was, now.
Then maybe the landscape of my night dreams would expand. Maybe I would return to those visions of sugar-plums. Or better yet, take a flight so glorious—no wings required. Just me and the air.
Oh, how I will fly!
Need a new waking dream? Reach for the sky with me. Together, we’ll soar.
Pictures from digitalspy.co.uk; photos-public-domain.com