Dream a Little Dream

Dream a Little Dream February 2, 2016

Last week, I had what was maybe one of the best dreams I’ve ever had. I can’t tell you how empowering and affirming it was.

*****

I was walking along a lovely country lane in early spring companionably arm in arm with Joan of Arc. We met up with other groups of young women, and Joan would always ask them, “Have you met my sister, Cynthia?” They were all very happy to meet me, and we all continued walking together along the lane.

We all chatted and spoke of the lovely weather and the birds singing, when Joan gave a shout. “Look! Here she comes!” We all parted, and dropped to our knees in the mud along the edges of the road.

Edward_Burne-Jones_The_Golden_StairsThen, surrounded by a variety of lissome children and young people, came the Blessed Virgin. The whole procession of them looking like something from a pre-Raphaelite painting, perhaps by Burne-Jones. All the garments were beautifully draped, and of a subdued color. Our Lady bore a dish in her hands, almost like a 13×9 cake pan. As we all gazed in rapt adoration, Joan whispered to me, “See? She is bringing a casserole to the poor.”

After all passed by, and silence returned, we rose from our knees, but, like it happens in dreams, no one was the least bit dirty or even wearied by the kneeling.

Then, the scene shifted. We were all sitting in what appeared to be a monastery dining room. Almost like the cafeteria of a senior citizens home, or a college lunch hall. Nothing imposing, very mundane. Young girls dressed in white were bringing our plates and I was surprised to see it was the very same casserole that Mary had been bringing to the poor.

As I expressed my surprise, Joan matter-of-factly said, “What? Did you think you were too good for it? Eat!”

*****

I woke, realizing that I needed as much mercy and grace as anyone, if not more. It was a very humbling thought, but in a good way.

The more I think about this dream and what it means for me, the more pleasant it becomes.

*****

Illustration Credit: The Golden Stairs, Edwin Burne-Jones


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  • Your posts always make me think, Cynthia. Always. Thank you for this piece to ponder. I have sometimes been guilty of thinking I was far too good to eat the same.

  • Via

    Thanks for sharing, Cynthia. Well written, thought provoking and insightful. I especially loved the humility.

    • I’m not a very humble person, so this was a valuable lesson. Thank you for coming.

  • David

    Your subconscious makes great dream casseroles. Who could be more perfect to be your sister and guide in this scene than Joan, the virgin mother of France? Her economic poverty was as real as the spirit that transcended it and the humility with which she carried her message while on earth.

    Fortunately, your own studies have fed your subconscious great materials for years. I’m glad she feeds you too.

    • Thank you, David, for your thoughtful response. It was such a beautiful dream, and indeed, who could ask for more?!

  • Now I KNOW you’re Midwestern! Casseroles! Hahaha! Casseroles always go with church and God, don’t they? What a great dream! Joan of Arc? The BVM? And to be called a sister. Wow! It’s safe to say that, short of a dream about dancing with Fred Astaire, I’ve never had such a vivid and epic dream as yours. Always interesting to wake to our own particular poverties, isn’t it?

    • Ok, dancing with Fred Astaire? That indeed would be a fantastic dream!

  • It made me stop and think for a moment – about how wisdom/truth comes to us in different ways. Good post, Cynthia 🙂

    • I think wisdom comes to people all the time, but they don’t necessarily recognize it, because they’re caught up in the way not being “approved.” I’ll take wisdom wherever I can find it.

  • whitney

    I like your dream, Cynthia. The idea of sisters and that we are all in this together resonates with me. The casserole, however, is the best . . . humble, yet sustaining.

    • Yes! While the dream ended before I actually started eating, I can’t help but wonder what it might have tasted like.