Once or twice a week I will have a dream about Melissa. Most of the time the dream involves seeing her from a distance, or feeling her next to me, but not getting a chance to have any conversations with her. On some nights, I get really lucky and we get to talk, if just for a few moments. Last night was one of those nights. We met in the backyard, in my dream, and talked for a little while about how she was doing and what she was up to. For some reason she told me she was thinking about becoming a nun, because she wanted to help people. I don't quite understand that part. She looked so good, so happy and full of life.
About halfway through the dream, I realized it was a dream and had to fight to stay asleep, to stay near her for a little while longer. A clock suddenly appeared floating above us, the hands moving at an incredible rate. She looked at it and told me that's how time goes for her now, that a blink of an eye is a year, and that we would all be together again someday soon. That the world is temporary, but that love can transcend, and that time is but a minor barrier.
I always wake up from these dreams deeply conflicted. There is so much to contemplate, with a feeling that the veil of life has somehow been pulled back to show me the secrets of the universe. At the same time, I wake up alone, in the dark, in an empty bed, with nothing but my slow perceived time to think about the harshness of this modern world.
These first few seconds and minutes after sleep are the hardest part, they are a fresh reminder of what is gone. The world takes on a dreamlike state for short while. A part of me is disappointed that I've made it to another day and probably have thousands more to go. But, I look across the room and see my three dogs quietly sleeping near me, or I see her picture on the wall, and I find my purpose and go on. I look forward to the life of the world to come.
I woke up on Saturday night to a noise outside my house. The clock on the nightstand ready 2:37a. I went out to the backyard with our black lab, Daisy, to check. Off in the distance I could see the Piestewa Peak silhouetted in the moonlight. A police helicopter was circling the mountain, throwing its spotlight on the hiking trail a few hundred feet below, lighting it up like the warm afternoon sun. A combination of the early morning hour, the absolute silence of an early Sunday morning, and the sight of that mountain being selectively lit up lent the scene a surrealness that I can't quite put in words.
It was cold and late, so I quickly went back inside and back to bed, but the image stuck with me. Thinking about my dreams of Melissa makes me think about that spotlight, a bright spot in the darkness that shows me that I'm still on the right path. I have to trust that time is both long and short, and that there is a reason for all this even if it is not for me to understand yet.