It all started with a cup of tea. Well, that was the idea, anyway. I was trying to wake myself up to make a cup of tea to bring back to bed but my dreaming mind was brewing something a little more exotic than mundane black breakfast tea.
In dreamtime I padded down the hall in my dressing gown, boiled the kettle, opened the blinds and pondered the dewy garden. Everything was exactly as it should have been on a normal Wednesday morning. I opened the fridge to get the milk and my heart missed a beat. A rainbow coloured bird was flittering around inside, full of life and warmth despite the icy interior of the over-frosted fridge.
“Oh, poor little thing! Did you get trapped in the fridge?” I twittered, standing back to open the door wide so that he could fly out. But he didn’t fly out and so I looked closer. There were now three rainbow-coloured birds, a trio of a dawn chorus heralding sunshine and awakenings after a long, cold night.
I knew Michael was still asleep in bed and I had wanted to wake him gently with the morning tea, but this couldn’t keep.
“Michael!” I called down the hall, “Sorry to wake you up but this is just too good to miss. Come and have a look at this!”
By the time he got to the kitchen, the fridge was pumping with an exotic, exuberance of wild life. Two very large goldfish, swimming in the water at the bottom of the fridge, poked their faces out and surveyed us, cheekily. I laughed and gently nudged them back into the menagerie theatre, two characters from a story yet to play their part in the whole.
“Good feng shui,” I nodded to Michael. “Did you see the size of those goldfish? Talk about abundance!”
“Look closely,” Michael whispered in awe, “the snakes are the sibilants, the other animals are the vowels and consonants, the commas, full stops, exclamation marks, paragraphs, chapters, adjectives, metaphors, all the parts that together tell a story!”
“Sibilants,” I thought to myself in the dream, “that’s the hiss, isn’t it? Like the lisp I didn’t know I had until, a few years ago, a voice coach told me she’d give me some exercises to cure my lisp. Lazily I put the exercises to one side along with a few escaped s’s and decided my voice was thimply and thtunningly unique as it was.
I woke up, still in bed, the cold trip down the hall to make the tea still ahead of me. I began to think about my dream.
Soon I was sitting on a kitchen bench in my grandmother’s house, boiling water in the kettle to make a cup of tea, pondering the dewy, English garden through the window. The house had been renovated and hugely extended over the decades since my grandmother’s death but the wonderful, nurturing smells of her kitchen remained. Michael sat beside me, warming the teapot while I plunged my hand into a tall, white, ceramic jar of mixed dried herbs, leaves, fruits and berries.
“My grandmother used to collect these from her garden,” I explained to Michael. “They have dried into this unique, exotic tea over the years.” As I reverently scattered a handful into the teapot, hundreds of rainbow-coloured birds flew into and around the two old apple trees in the back garden, an explosive fruition of birdsong as the aroma of the ancient herbal tea was released by the first drops of newly boiled water.
Waking up, yet again laying tea-less in bed, Michael still asleep and the long walk down the hall to the kitchen still ahead of me, I pondered my dreams.
Both dreams were about releasing a vibrant, multi-sensual energy that had been slowly brewing, maturing towards its moment of harvest. The first dream showed the coming together of elements that had been ‘put on ice’, frozen and stored as if arranging for all the right elements to be brought into life together at the right time. The second dream showed the coming together of elements that had been dried, again perhaps arranging for all the elements to be together in the right combinations but with the added ingredient of the time needed to mature the dried herbs, leaves, fruits and berries to create the best result.
Like any creative person I have certainly put a number of creative ideas into storage over the years, sometimes because too many projects spoil the broth and sometimes because I know some of the elements are missing.
Dream interpretation aficionados should be jumping up and down now, excited by many clues in these dreams. For example, there’s word play in ‘sibilant’ that sounds, in part, like ‘sibyl’. A sibyl is an ancient seer, a ‘mind reader’, perhaps even a dream analyst, especially one who experiences precognitive dreams. The snakes (that the dream-Michael pointed out were the sibilants, the hiss-makers, in my dream) are an ancient symbol of dream healing and a personal totem of mine.
So where to from here?
Well, I now know my unconscious mind has finished brewing something and it’s time for me awaken and express it. The clues in my dream are plentiful enough to point me in the right direction but being the dream alchemist I am, I have decided on my course of action and it is this:
I am living, breathing and feeling the wonderfully, orchestrated energy of my fridge menagerie only it is no longer confined to the fridge. It is within me yet seeping through my pores, singing itself into waking life fruition. By doing this I am living the language of my dreams, awakening myself to the dawn chorus I need to hear.
I walk down the hall to the kitchen to make a cup of black tea. But it is no longer just a cup of black tea, is it?
[copyright Jane Teresa Anderson, June 2005, First published as a Dream Sight article.]