Chicken Licken was one of my favourite stories when I was three or four years old. I’m sure you know it. An acorn fell on Chicken Licken’s head as he was scouring the earth looking for food one day. Horrified he set off to tell the Queen the sky was falling. On the way he met Henny Penny, then Turkey Lurkey and so on.
Like any child with a favourite story, I wanted to hear it over and over again. Perhaps it was the rhythm and alliteration I liked, or perhaps I was fascinated by the idea of illusion. Like Chicken Licken we often misunderstand our experiences and, before long, those misunderstandings settle into concrete beliefs. Instead of witnessing the beautiful potential of the oak tree in the acorn, Chicken Licken lived in fear of the end of the world.
Chicken Licken came to mind following a dream I had earlier this month (I wrote this article 10 years ago, in June 2003, four months after my book, Dream Alchemy, was first published in Australia).
In my dream I was in a huge field with hundreds of other people, enjoying a mild, sunny day. Suddenly a plane appeared overhead.
“Will it drop bombs?” asked all the people, looking at me.
I looked up at the plane. It was very unusual. It looked more like a technical drawing, or blueprint plan than a plane. It was the plan for a future type of plane, yet somehow we were seeing it already.
“No,” I reassured them.
At that moment the plane dropped thousands of chocolates all over the field! Everyone ran around, gathering up handfuls of chocolates. I ate a soft-centred one (and really tasted it in my dream) then two more. That was enough for me but I watched as everyone else ate their fill.
As we all left the field I turned to look back and saw hundreds of identical, gold-wrapped chocolates dotted all over the grass.
“They’re the chocolate cracknels, the hard chocolates no-one ever eats, the ones that always get left in the box,” I explained to the person beside me. “Yet they’re manna from Heaven.”
I woke up before Forest Gump had time to pronounce that life is like a box of chocolates, but I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him there. What was his simple view? That some people get a soft-centred life and some get it tough?
So what did my dream mean?
The bottom line was that the tough stuff, the stuff we easily reject (the cracknels), is manna from Heaven because it’s the tough experiences that can deliver the sweetest lessons. In common with many authors and creative people I have, in the past, felt the fear of having my very public work rejected. Imagine – when you work hard at producing a beautiful baby you want everyone to love it! The reality is that some will and some won’t.
Through this dream I saw my future plan(e) of thought delivering a blessing of manna rather than destructive bombs. I realised my past approach may have been to sabotage my efforts to save my work from being judged and rejected. I am now blessing my field of dreams with chocolates, not decimating it with bombs.
I can see the golden opportunity in accepting that my work is cracknel or soft-centred depending on different people’s points of view, as this frees me to create without fear of judgement.
A friend, Angela, looked up the passage on manna from Heaven in the Book of Exodus: “it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” How close to the recipe for chocolate cracknel is that! And, yes, we were exiting the field and the topic of the dream was rejection (leaving, exodus).
The morning after my dream I met a new client who had been suffering from nightmares. I asked her if she could remember one feelgood dream. “Yes,” she replied, “it was about eating chocolate”.
Her name was Penny (real name). I heard a song strike up in the back of my mind. Gone was the chocolate manna from Heaven. Now I had “Pennies from Heaven” … Penny’s from Heaven.
Which all brings me back to Chicken Licken, Henny Penny and acorns from Heaven. Seeds for thought.
[First published as a Dream Sight article, June 2003. Copyright Jane Teresa Anderson 2003.]
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