A lifetime ago, a co-worker sat beside me in our break room telling about her dream from the night before.
We were in Oshkosh, Wis., a college town during the height of the New Age era. A lot of people called it bunk, but it piqued my interest. A lot. I did a story about a woman who came into town with a camera that could take pictures of auras, the colorful force field surrounding most people. I did a story about past-life regression. I did a story on dream analysis.
I wanted to believe, so it was easy to believe. I even considered myself knowledgeable of the movement. So when Jo started telling about this dream, I listened intently.
In her dream, the newspaper building where we worked was on fire. A woman who planned to retire the next week stepped out on a ledge and stood there, away from the fire and safe from harm. Jo stepped out with her, then suddenly went back inside the burning building. Then she woke.
"Is it a death wish?" she asked.
"You said you envied Noreen's retirement, didn't you?" I asked, feeling quite smug at how easily this thought fell into my head.
"Well, don't you see? She's getting out and won't have to bother about all the crap that's going on. You've thought about retiring, so you stepped out with her, but you decided not to leave, so you had to go back into the building, back into the work."
Or words to that effect.
It seemed so simple to me, so simple I couldn't believe she hadn't thought of it. Still, she may have gotten caught up on the death wish part instead of looking at the whole picture.
That day I nearly broke my arm patting myself on the back. I nailed that interpretation. Nailed it.
Not all dreams are so easy to figure out. I'm still working on the picture of Walt and Dana and me sitting three abreast inside my little Fiat 128, which was a physical impossibility, and going over an embankment into space. I sat in the middle. As we flew upward, I grabbed Dana's hand and screamed "I love you."
Thank God I woke up. That little car was good but I'm not sure it could have survived a landing where no land was in sight.
I never get to fly in dreams. My sister does, and I envy that. But I can breathe under water and can dunk a basketball because when I take off I push downward with my hands and hover in the air. Hmmm, I guess that's a form of flying, after all.
This renewed interest in dreams popped into my head last Sunday when I read about the new spiritual cooperative, Peace on the Prairie, near Webster City. Dream therapist Sam Coleman, of Fort Dodge, will offer classes.
Just know, dreams can be important. Past the forgotten locker combination or the history class you never attended, your night-time dreams try to keep your day-time life in harmony.
Sweet dreams, everyone.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, former lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.