I long to be free. On a beach and free.
Not long ago, I had a ‘big dream’ about Hawaii, to use Jungian-speak. Sometimes called an archetypal dream, a big dream speaks to the collective psyche, and if you experience one, it feels ‘bigger’ or different or more profound than some of your other dreams. Big dreams often include elements of nature, animals, and tend to inspire a feeling of wonder or awe in the dreamer.
In this dream, I discover myself floating above an immensely tall, spiky, black lava mountain top sticking out of the ocean – a high, high spindle of an island, the shape of a church spire. Freud would find his own meaning in this, but I lean toward a more archetypal interpretation with islands and mountains representing our highest spiritual aspirations, as they form out of the ground and grow toward the realm of sky or spirit.
There is a moment of shock and panic when I look down the sheer drop into the ocean. I feel the height in the pit of my stomach.
But the floating force remains strong and I stand strong in it, confident in it, leaning into it actually as you might a strong wind. I smile as I look over what I see: vast ocean to my right, a lava shore to my left. Fish in the water jump and play at the surface, and I can see through the water also, to the ones swimming deeper down.
I must plunge into the water to get down from the mountain, so I do, head first at an amazing rate of speed straight down the sheer lava face, smiling. I don’t hit the water. I stop suspended just above its surface floating upside down, head a few inches above the water, still with an assured smile that no harm will come. I glide backwards swiftly over sparkling sea towards the shore like a dolphin going for a ride.
So now, we’re going. A trip planned with eyes wide open at the exact age and stage of our family. Suddenly we find ourselves with two teenagers and life goes fast from here. Our family as we’ve always known it, the four of us, will separate out.
My fifteen year old daughter and I have been watching bad surf movies in the way you anticipate a destination. We’ve studied pictures of the beaches in the guidebook, know our way to the ones we for sure want to explore.
In my research as I read about a Hindu Monastery just down the road in the hills where we’re staying, another kind of dream began . In a sort of awake reverie, unbidden thoughts circulated of ritual and ceremony. My mind imagined the feeling of the grounds where people become holy through their prayers and meditations. The floating energy I felt in my reverie reminded me of the floating energy which held me aloft in the mystical dream of Hawaii – a spiritual feeling of nirvana. I envisioned wandering the lush grounds and temples with my family, being offered a blessing perhaps, reverent and holy, as we’ve come through some hard times.
Maybe one fine day will be this, the sacred in everyday life. Although beaches and lush flora should help, I know the physical will follow. I’ll likely still be managing meals and messes. My teens will likely still act like entitled little egocentrics, and we won’t get any more sleep there than we do here. Worries and fears will be the same.
Maybe I’ll be irritable with the four of us together all the time when I’m used to and seem to require scads of solitude. Maybe the noise and the planning will annoy, and I’ll deal terribly with it in attitude. Maybe it’s too tall a task for the four of us to feel holy together. I doubt if my husband/kids have ‘monastery’ on their list of things to do, and I doubt that monks just give random, meaningful, heartfelt blessings to those happening by.
I heard once that a dream isn’t ‘done’ until you’ve taken some action to honor it. I don’t know what it will be like in Hawaii – I leave my heart open to the experience. But perhaps going to the place of the dream is an attempt to move toward the experience of it – a general feeling of peace and ease, healing emanating from the lava, freedom on a beach. Maybe we’ll find something akin to the dream – a hint, a glimpse, a glimmer – where that holy, active energy exists.