Thursday, October 9, 2008


It is early, 6:30 but it feels like 5:30 because the darkness still sits so heavy under an overcast sky. I awoke half an hour ago to the deepest dream which I must document, I am so curious to see whether it will come true in some form.

Joanna is one of my dearest friends, and she is now 8 days past due for her first baby. Oh, and the story is long, we'll sum it up to say this baby is so long awaited for and anticipated, and I am hoping beyond all of my dearest hopes that everything goes beautifully and smoothly for her.

So it has not been unusual for me to dream what happens. The other day I wondered about Joanna, and I thought, she could be having her baby right now. But then I reconsidered, somehow. No, I decided, I will dream of it when the baby comes. Here is what happened, just now in my head, whirling and fresh from the night's sleep.

I am in a kitchen somewhere with my friend Beth and our children. It is a strange, bluey-green color and full of light. We are working on a project and there are cardboard boxes everywhere. Our children are there, but occupied. The phone rings, and it is Joanna. Beth answers, and at first, their conversation is simply normal: then I hear Beth say something about her having a girl. I grab the phone.


Of course the exact dialogue is lost to me, but I hear this: Remember the day you said would be a good day?
Yes, I remember. October 9th, and in real life I had said this to Joanna, that many wonderful people that I know have this as a birthday, the ninth of October.
Well, she says, At four o'clock this morning I looked down and pushed out the little head of Leigh."

A girl? Here? Named Leigh? But I hadn't heard quite right. What's her name?

DuFris, she answers, which of course rhymes with Leigh and is a rather strange name for a little girl, I am thinking, but I exclaim, Oh, that's beautiful!

This huge gush of relief flows over me, and I can hardly believe it's true.

Scene Two- In the car

As these things often do, suddenly I am somewhere else, in the backseat of a car driving alongside a lake. The driver is a woman who used to teach fifth grade at the school I was at, the passenger her son, and the other two passengers are other teachers (all people I worked with when I had Charlotte). I am in the back right seat. The people in the back with me keep falling asleep, and out of the corner of my eye, when I see them dozing, I mistakenly think they are the drivers and begin to panic. This happens several times.
Suddenly, we pull out into a wide plain, which is edged with steep little mountains. It's a wildlife preserve, and there are hyenas, wildebeasts, monkeys, rhinos. All in wide, fenced in pens. I wonder if my children would enjoy this. Suddenly I remember Joanna, and I turn to the little girl who is suddenly on my lap.

She is a five year old, blonde girl. She is on my lap, looking out the window, and my arms are tightly around her waist. In the dream, she is Joanna's daughter. I have to confirm with her, I can hardly beleive that this good news is true.

"Did your mama have her baby?" I ask. The little girl nods. I ask what her name is, hoping to confirm or clear up the strange name I think I have heard over the phone.

"She has to do the stone now" says the little girl.
In my mind, I am picturing a small little rock, and Joanna or a person scratching in the stone with another rock, making a brief little etching.

"What is the stone?" I ask.

"It's the stone where they put her name, because she's not dead."

This makes sense to me in the dream, and I have this picture of the family scratching the baby's name on this rock and adding it to a circle of rocks in their backyard, a ritual of life that has been completed.

I emerge from the dream. Three things swirl in my mind.

The baby is here.

The baby is alive.

Who is the little girl who brought me that dream?


I am so curious to see what today brings, if I will indeed get news about my dear friend's baby. And as my children are still asleep (!!!6:42!) I will go on to tell about another dream that once woke me.

My dear friend Katia was pregnant, and I woke at 5:40 one January morning remembering that she had called me in my dream to say she had given birth to a baby boy, named McCall. I got out of bed to go to the bathroom, thinking of McCall and baby boys and then returned to sleep.

As I slept, then, I dreamed that I saw her, and I told her about my dream and the baby boy named McCall.

I did have my baby, she said, but it's not a boy. It's a little girl, and I've named her Aster.

I woke up, corrected. I puzzled over the two names my brain had invented. McCall, and then Aster. Aster was almost pretty, I thought of the little flowers in the fall with that name and I looked it up in the dictionary; the greek word for star.

One hour later I couldn't wait any longer. I picked up the phone and called Katia.

Her sister answered the phone. Katia was in the hospital. At 6:00 that morning, she had given birth to a little girl, and named her Stella. The latin word for Star.


Less than a month ago, I dreamed that I ran into an old friend. Our friendship fell apart when Charlotte died, sadly. I felt unsupported, she had crises of her own, and somehow it dissolved: she is literally the only good friend I have ever fallen out of touch with. Getting back in touch seems awkward; so much time has passed, the emotions aren't hot anymore but so much of my life has gone by and changed. She now lives in Colorado. So my dream is this:

I am walking down the street, and I bump into Chandra. Literally.

I don't know what to say, I tell her. I don't know what to say.

I'm thinking, do I say, are you mad at me? What happened? Can we talk? Let's try again? But I don't know where to start.

I wake up and later that day call a mutual friend and tell her of my dream. I really don't know what I'd say, I tell her.

Two days later, I am early for a date in town with Greg. The kids are in the car and the weather, which had been rainy all day, has cleared. Suddenly, I decide to walk to the restaurant, pulling off Main Street onto a random side street a quarter mile from the restaurant. Remarkably, there is one parking spot. I pull into it. I get out, and I'm getting the stroller out of the back of my car, when I hear a voice.


I turn around, and she is standing on the sidewalk behind me. My old friend, who now lives in Denver, who I have not seen since two days before Liam's birth, who I dreamed about bumping into two nights earlier. Chandra is there, in my town, right behind where I suddenly, randomly decided to park my car.

I walked across the street and met her eye.

I prophesied this, I told her. Two nights ago I dreamed that I bumped into you on the street and I didn't know what to say.

Do you? She asked.

No, I answered. And I hugged her, and ended up spending the whole evening with her. It was perhaps the only way our friendship could have been saved, and it was.


I will keep you posted about Joanna.


Jen said...

Wow. This is a wonderful antidote to those who claim that dreams are random and don't mean anything. I, for one, do believe that dreams have rich and profound meaning, sometimes literal, sometimes metaphorical. I really appreciate your dream-sharing. I was especially touched by the appearance of the 5-year-old little girl, that sweet messenger.

Anonymous said...

that is so awesome. I completely believe in dream prophesy.

quick anecdote, my doula's husband, when I called her that early morning to let her know i was in labor, told her he had a dream that she had left him for another woman.

we all laughed about this during labor and my midwife told us about all the strange dreams she had about birthing women and how many of them had actually come true.