I managed to live the first 38 years of my life without ever having a recurring dream. Not so anymore. Over the last year or two there's one dream I have again and again.
First, some history.
We've visited Jamaica twice over the last three years. Jamaica represents the sea to me. I know this. More than the daunting poverty, the imbalance of riches in the country, more than jerk chicken or reggae, I associate Runaway Bay with the sea. For me, nothing compares to standing at the edge of the sea, fixing my eyes on the the fine line of the horizon, a seam zipping the world closed.
More about me and water. Water and I go way back.
I grew up never more than a few miles from Lake Ontario. Not the sea, by any means, but an expansive Great Lake and a force nonetheless. I had a love hate relationship with the lake. I did my dreaming there. I rode my horse across Lakeshore Boulevard in the summer and swam him in the lake. Nothing in my life--still--compares to the feeling of that lake, of swimming my horse. Muscle meets water, floating, snorting. Riding across the sand on this soily beach. Looking for driftwood. The stench of seaweed and dead fish. The summer air lit with beating waves, hot sun, shade trees. These are memories of the lake I treasure. I can snap them front and center in my mind with one mental click.
Then there was my stepfather's sailboat. Our family recreation in the summer consisted of my step-sister and I being dragged for weekends out on the lake in my step-father's 28-foot sailboat. We'd sail to Sodus Bay or spend the weekend in Fairhaven.
You might think I'd remember these times fondly, but for a twelve-year-old held captive in a dysfunctional family, 48 solid hours sharing a 28x10 with space our parents, no sight of land--just an expanse of water--was not joyous. It's hard to escape family wounding when you're sharing the small confines of a sailboat for hours or days on end. Mostly, it brought out the worst in us all, if you don't count the bonus that my step-sister and I got nicely tanned, and that somehow the ancient waters empathized with us.
Ripe with reason, I have always loved, have never blamed, the water. When I couldn't get to the lake, I sought out swimming pools as a kid--never deterred by cold water or 60-degree evenings. I cleansed in rivers and dug clay with my hands from the bottoms of streams.
That is some history of me and water.
Back to my recurring dream. We are on vacation in Jamaica (George, Jenna, and me). Sometimes it looks like the resort we visit, sometimes it doesn't. The crux of the dream is this: I never make it into the sea before we leave. There is always something keeping me from the sea. We're having drinks, I'm getting food for Jenna, we're talking with our friends who meet us there, we're taking island tours that we've never taken. And all of a sudden the bus is coming to take us to the airport when I, in a panic, realize I forgot to get into the sea. I never made it--it's further away and less obvious in my dream, and I forget to make my way to the water.
Did some digging on Google for dream interpretations. Found this about water:
Water symbols i.e. sea, rivers, lakes, canals, etc. reflect the spiritual or cultural life of the dreamer. How water appears or is organized indicates the dreamer's philosophy of life. A river indicates the dreamer needs a more free spiritual flow. A canal or swimming pool, both man made structures, indicates man-made or conventional ideals are restricting the dreamer's Spiritual flow. A lake or pool indicates that the dreamer does not have a spiritual outlet. The sea or ocean indicates the dreamer's spirituality / life is the subject matter. Diving into the any body of water is a request for the dreamer to get into life. The state of the water can also indicate the condition of the dreamer's blood. Polluted water indicates a need to cleanse the blood by a change of diet and/or improved elimination. - avcweb
A ring of truth to that--needing to redefine, to find, to unwrap and nurture my spiritual self. She isn't sure what's out there, which way to go, and at the same time sees the expanse of what's out there. Finding my place. Remembering to find my self. I think that's the reminder within this water dream of mine.