A dream, so specific.
Dreaming of my youth is not such a particular idea. Many do. For years while I had young babies of my own, I dreamt of swimming out in the rain to ready myself for banquet. Or finding the paths of women in the woods before me, the brush hadn’t been cleared in years.
Sitting on rocks discussing the meaning of life and how I will attend it better or differently or the same. The afternoon heat, writing a postcard for my dinner. Or standing watching myself and others in a shared reflection.
I dream of a subculture that was so specific, and so compartmentalized from my life. There were rituals and spoken guidance. For a decade of summers spread over more years than that, I was allowed to be one who wandered, who looked, who knew not, but was.
I dreamed so much when I was first out west. As a young mother. I gathered my others to this place. I married. Here. I introduced this with that. I fell into a trance and nursed my son as I sat in front of the fireplace. I counted steps, while we danced to the band, where I had sang nightly.
We photographed that day. And that day was one more pivot marked in place.
Last summer I returned. Alone, I walked. I breathed deep, the smells. I felt the paths under my feet. The place I was truly kissed in all its disgustingness for the first time. The place I learned the Lord’s Prayer to fit in, and the place I wept as I walked to the alter. The place I learned to save lives, to drive a motor boat before I had my license, to sail sail sail. To shoot an arrow. To laugh with women younger, and older. To sit in a boat just to follow the stories of those before me. To follow the wind, giving boundaries to my possibilities.
It was here I learned to deal with swimming nakedness. To enjoy my swimming nakedness. To defy my fears of the other places in my life, I felt the water. In my return, I found the place I swam to sitting on the ground.