Do you ever have recurring dreams? The kinds of dreams which seem to repeat over and over in terms of location, content or characters? Dreams in which the subconscious keeps returning to meander around a favorite territory while the conscious brain isn’t paying attention?
I just had one the other night. If I wasn’t already certain it was a repetitive dream, my husband confirmed it when I began to describe my visions.
Oh yeah, you always have that dream.
I DO? How do YOU know?
Apparently I am also a big “dream reporter”. Can I help it if I think my dreams are fascinating and worth sharing?
Anyway, I’m starting to wonder if this particular type of repetitive dream is one experienced by many other transplants. Because this was a dream about finding yourself living back in your former home.
From time to time in my reveries I revisit the old homestead. What’s interesting about these dreams is that it’s quite obvious that they're not just about a house, but about everything that house represents to the psyche. And it represents a LOT.
For one thing, the place is usually in exactly the same conditions as it was left. Same furniture, same decorating, same dirty dishes in the sink. Last night’s voyage drilled far enough into the details to include even the same makeup in the bathroom and the same houseplants, most of which miraculously survived seventeen years without water. Because another strange detail is that usually no one has lived in the house in our absence. Apparently it was simply preserved as a kind of shrine, waiting patiently in case we decided to return. (And magically the mortgage got paid all this time as well. Although asleep, the practical side of my mind usually still has a vague awareness that this would be a necessity.)
Another fun part of these dreams is that by returning to the home of long ago, we seem to roll back the years as well. In these “tales”, the entire family (including me) is usually younger and closer to the ages we were when we moved. Yay! Time travel!
So my daughters were ages eight and four again on this particular night, although they’re now both in their twenties and one is about to have a child of her own. And I remember thinking in the dream…hold tighter to these precious moments this time around.
(Sometimes I wish I was as smart when I was awake as when I’m asleep.)
What does change from dream to dream is how I feel about being back. Sometimes I’m horrified and thinking we went through all that and ended up back in the same place? What the heck??
When that occurs I find myself wondering what happened to my Arizona life, my friends here, my job, all the things I love about living in the Grand Canyon State? What will I do without the desert, my favorite places and the daily sunshine?
But then there are other times, as during this recent dream, when I actually feel an intense comfort level being back in the place where I grew up. When the familiarity and tradition are like a warm security blanket and any doubts I ever had about moving are put to rest because I moved back. In those hallucinations, any problems, sadness, or mistakes that occurred after moving are erased simply by reversing the trip, as though they never happened.
Of course, when many people relocate that’s often exactly what they are doing, trying to escape something or make a fresh start. It’s not a statistic which can be easily documented, but how many transplants would say they came here looking for an improved life? That’s pretty much what our entire nation was built on, the dream of all the better things which we hope will come with getting out.
I guess it makes sense that even though the 17th anniversary of our move to Arizona just passed, even after all those years, and even if I don’t really think I could ever go back, sometimes the smallest nagging doubt still creeps into the subconscious and rears its head during those hours when the subconscious rules. And for a brief moment it shows you what your life might look like if you’d taken a different route. Because any time you make a big decision in life, you never know for sure how things would have turned out if you’d gone the other way.
Not unless you have an angel like Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
Of course dreams often make no sense either. There were two wild components about this last fantasy trip. First, I had a huge problem getting out of my Arizona cable TV contract. Evidently the fine print said you had to pay for life even if the service was disconnected, and I was in a nasty argument with them (maybe not such a fantasy after all).
And the other oddity was that apparently the decision to move back was made virtually overnight and I didn’t even tell any of the key people in my life that I was leaving. Not my employer, not my friends, not even my mom. Oops, sorry dream people!
The good news, is, I’m not going anywhere. But I am going to take a good hard look at my cable bill.
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