I started writing this post on a positive note. Then the morning went from good to bad and the afternoon only got worse. When I finally sat down to finish writing what I’d started, I felt like none of what I was about to say was real. By real, I don’t mean in the general essence of my entire life. It’s just this one frame out of the entire reel, a simple snapshot of one day that sits inside a panoramic view.
Today was just ‘one of those days’; a harrowing, appalling, good-for-nothing, very poor day. It was one of those days that I wanted to get in my car and drive. I had no particular destination in mind. All I wanted to do was put a great distance between me and my house, between the disorganized mess of dirty dishes, overflowing laundry baskets and strewn toys. I desperately needed a break from my kids, from the dog and from the overwhelming sense of exhaustion that engulfed every part of me. I could sense an emotional and mental breakdown on the near horizon.
In the middle of an afternoon project I was working on, I found a question. The words were like a whisper, so faint in the middle of the chaos that I didn’t really hear them at first. Like a wisp of wind whistling among fluffy dandelions, I quickly read ‘What’s the best dream you’ve ever had?’ and just as quickly, I dismissed the question.
It wasn’t under later, after all had quieted down, that the question finally sank in…
My first awareness was a bright white light. It engulfed my entire body and though there was nothing but the light, I felt a strong sense of peace. The sound of a bell tolling in the distance grounded my senses, then suddenly I was standing barefoot on a cobblestone paved path. Cherry blossom trees lined both sides of the street, the sweet smell of freshly turned earth and flowers combined with the faint scent of the sea. The trees were full of blossoms and yet the ground was still littered with them, padding the hard grey stones. I became slowly aware of my body in this place, dressed in a simple white silk gown, my hair loose and skin soft. The long sleeves billowed out, the flawlessly smooth fabric gracing my ankles as I began to walk. Satiny pink and white petals swirled around my feet and into the air before settling back down on the ground. There were small houses set a short distance off the path, humbly beautiful replicas of Japanese tea houses, red and black trimmed with glass all around. I wanted to go inside one, to sit and admire the beauty of this place. Yet I continued walking. In the center of this peaceful locale was a fountain. The base of it rose up out of the ground, green mossy stone piled on top of one another, the middle shooting pure, fresh water straight into the air. I could feel the cool droplet on my skin as I sat on the base, my face raised up toward the gloriously warm sun. I heard the tolling of the bell again and my eyes opened to the white of our bedroom ceiling.
Today, that question sent me back to that place. A vision of peace, of absolute serenity and solitude. It was the best dream I have ever had, and the longest to stay with me. It’s a place I’ve never been and yet it’s ingrained in my heart as a needed retreat at the end of the truly chaotic days, those days, like today, when I just needed a momentary escape from reality.
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Today’s Project: Family Conversation Jar