Saturday, November 16, 2013

Do You Know?

My childhood home

Where do we go when we dream? To places inside our heads? To places of the heart? Are our brains trying to make sense of our daytime lives or just processing the excess information? Are we working out unsolved problems, perhaps putting them in a new light? Do dreams come true?

I dream in color. Always. Sometimes I'm a participant, sometimes an observer and other times I watch myself, all the time conscious of the fact that I'm also doing what I'm watching. Most often my dreams take place in familiar locales. I have repetitive dreams; one reoccurring dream finds me in a familiar house, going from room to room explaining to the people following me what each former inhabitant used the rooms for. I have falling dreams and dreams of being chased. I've had numerous dreams about being in a car that has no brakes.

I've had prophetic dreams, dreams of destruction, of the end of the world, of trying to save my children.  Such dreams came before my then husband and I moved to Vermont with our four children. The real estate agent drove us to a town that I recognized from those dreams. It should have been a warning. My husband and I divorced in that town. My children had to choose a parent to live with. The world we'd all known ended there.

Ah, but last night's dream was of a different sort. A lifelong friend who died of cancer years ago came to see me. He was whole and happy and he had a life he was pleased with. He showed me his new house and it was the house I'd grown up in, the loss of which I still mourn. And I was delighted to realize that if he now lived in it, I could go there too. I could still see him, talk with him. And I'd be home. I woke smiling and the happiness has remained with me all day.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Changing Seasons

The bulk of yesterday was dominated by a gray mass of storm clouds that dumped rain at frequent intervals. I drove alternately through bursts of rain splatters and swirling leaves. Just before sunset the wind tattered the clouds and blew them eastward, letting pure gold light gild the treetops as the sun melted down to kiss the pond. Then the whole sky blushed scarlet. The temperature dipped into the low 30s overnight and today's high did not reach above the high 40s.

I have been out of doors in the wind and sunshine and the occasional snowflake, readying the garden beds for winter. I clipped back the dead stalks of phlox and bee balm, picked the last tiny rosebuds to tuck in a vase on the kitchen windowsill, and pulled the dead tomato and pepper vines. The patio chairs are stored in the garage, the umbrella has been folded away. The forsythia still has its leaves; when they fall things will begin to look winter-stark.

Birds frequent the feeder morning and afternoon. Earlier, a large jay perched precariously on the top of the slender shepherd's crook and yelled as he teetered, but he didn't keep the busy finches at bay for long. All winter long the small seed feeders that winter over here will come to eat. Soon it will be time to put out the suet cakes for the nuthatches and woodpeckers. The view from my window is better than TV.

Geese are gathering by the hundreds on the pond across the road from the cottage. Already I've seen several large flocks headed south. They call to one another and then rise as one above the water, circling once before beating their way high into the blue. Soon the only sounds will be the wind and the hush a million snowflakes make tumbling over each other - possibly as early as the middle of next week. Over and over the great seasonal wheel turns.

Friday, November 01, 2013


Halloween was yesterday and my little owl and pussycat are back to their normal selves. But, last night they were among the ghosties and goblins that made their way along the streets, looking for treats.

The owl and the pussycat on the move...

I had fun making the costumes. What did we do before downloadable patterns? Ran to the store a few days before or made do with what we had. The Bean's owl costume is made of felt "feathers" stitched and glued on a purchased sweater with a fur lined hood. The babe's hat is decorated with pipe cleaner whiskers and a pink kitty nose.

Row of felt "feathers" line an attached felt cape for wing span.

The Bean wanted purple feathers (of course) and "don't hide my pocket sparklies, Nini." 
We all marched in a town-wide parade on Tuesday night. Halloween isn't much like it was when I was a child, where nearly everyone made their own costumes and masks, and herds of kids wandered our rural streets without fear of abduction or doctored candy. No trick-or-treater has ever found his or her way to my cottage, tucked away as I am. It was fun to be back in the magic of the night.