What Won’t Let Go Of You

Some mornings I wake up with a wisp of a dream still hanging on. Pulling me back into a scene from long ago or a time that never even happened. It pulls and I pull back and eventually wakefulness wins.

This morning I woke to rain. Not thick sheets of it. But a soft rain that made the leaves on the plants glisten out on the patio.

Then the clouds parted and the sun came out and both the morning and I were in full wakefulness mode.

I tend to the pets. Feed them. Give Charlie his morning medication. Make myself a quick breakfast and brew my one cup of coffee for the day.

I sit and look about me. Over 7 years I’ve lived here. That’s probably the longest I’ve lived anywhere since I was a child. And even then never more than a dozen years did I spend in one place.

I’ve taken many of those same nighttime dreams along with me through the years and places I’ve lived. As though they set up shop in my brain and will never leave me.

And the years pass by.

One day you wake up and face what seems to be an altogether different person in the bathroom mirror. A person who has awakened from all kinds of dreams. And sometimes the same ones over and over again.

But older. With lines accentuating your features. Softening your face.

Probably the dreams are embedded so deeply into your psyche that you won’t ever hold onto them long enough to work them out. You wake up and back they go into the place from which they came.

Like a balloon tethered to a string, whatever won’t let go of you bounces in and out of your nighttime dreams. You have to hope that one day you’ll be able to see clearly what these dreams have been trying all along to tell you.

Or maybe the string will just escape the fingers holding onto it. And lift up higher and higher into the air until the blue sky swallows it up.

And you’re finally free of it.

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9 Comments

  1. I can’t imagine moving so often. I lived my first 18 yrs in one house then for 5 yrs bounced around a bit with college & getting married. Then when I was 23 my husband & I bought our first house…that was 34 yrs ago & we’re still in it. We hope to be here til the end but no one know how that will go.

    My next door neighbor was here before me. She’s listing her house for sale this summer after living here for over 40 yrs!

    Another dear friend just turned 50. She lived an idyllic childhood on her family farm then married & moved into a little hours right next door…so she’s never really lived anywhere else.

    Maybe it’s because we’re rural that we stay where we’ve been planted?

    My dreams are illusive as well but I dream when I’m stressed, worried or anticipating something. I think they’re always a result of what’s on my mind more than the dreams actually telling me something.

  2. I had a very vivid too real dream the other night…so much that I remembered the basics to tell my husband a couple nights later. What I took from it, was a cautionary thing…to be more careful, even in our locked bldg, about how and to whom I open our door. I moved my little step stool over next to the door (there is a small corner there) in order to climb up to see out the peep hole (made for 6 ft tall people). My husband thinks my dream was a caution one too. Am I afraid? No. But being careful as we age is needful. We do not live in a safe world where locked doors are not needed. I wish…
    One of my friends has been told to go for an evaluation at the mental center in her town…out of the blue. I told her not to go. That seems just too weird. She is THE SANE one in that household, keeping things together for the other 3 people there. I think they have a fair amount of money…maybe someone wants it? No reason to give up every right one has…weird things seem to keep happening…(our state is not known to be very sane in general however…so not a huge surprise). And now without as much tax money (duh!) I think they may be hunting for more funds in unusual places…my friend just retired recently from nursing and is very bright…go figure…

  3. Excellent essay. Your words really spoke to me. I can totally identify with this.
    Brenda, you are so talented with putting the abstract into the written word. You possess a gift.

  4. I was raised by my grandmother. She had a large white farmhouse with a raised porch running the width of it. The ceilings were high and at Christmas, the tree touched the ceiling. She had a red and white kitchen with a table with an enameled top that was trimmed in red. Curtains were red and white gingham. Oh, how I loved that house. I dream about it often and in the dreams I am a young married woman and we are moving there. In my dreams, I am so excited thinking about how I will decorate every room. And when I awake, I become sad because the house isn’t there anymore. But it is still in my dreams and I’m able to visit it from time to time. Isn’t it funny how we carry the happy memories with us throughout our lives? Now I know why I love red and white so much.

  5. I don’t seem to understand my dreams and as I grow older I wake and they elude me like fireflies… here & then gone. When I was younger I’d lie awake in bed and plan a story and it would become my dream. That seemed to be a facility of childhood. Now I can neither plan and seldom remember my dreams. My hosta are growing with leaps and bounds. The heavy South Carolina heat has not come yet. That’s when mine suffer. Hosta originated in the mountains of China and I guess memory is long and they miss the cool air. Still I struggle to keep mine even with my walker pulling the hose to give them deep drinks in the early morning. I must look a sight to my neighbors but I no longer care what anyone thinks. That’s one of the most freeing things of old age. I hope your housing dilemma works itself out. I’ll be looking at moving in a year or so. No one really wins in this super inflationary market. Hopefully it sorts itself out soon.