Week 3.   The dream

I do not regularly get dreams or visions. I’m more of a rational, concrete evidence kind of guy. So, when God visits in that thin spiritual place between sleeping and waking, between dark and dawn, between the spiritual and the concrete, I tend to pay attention.

Jonathan Lear, in his book “Radical Hope” uses as the thesis of his philosophical argument the dream vision of Chief Plenty Coup as he assumed the leadership of The Crow nation as they were being forced to give up their life and culture and while they were faced with cultural and spiritual annihilation. His vision was the guide of his people as they watched their entire culture disappear. His dream was important, but so was the way he communicated it. It is important that things be done in the way they should. This vision was not reserved for him, and he did not own it. It was not his to do with as he chose, but rather he had a moral obligation to share it with his elders and have them interpret the dream in the context of their responsibilities as leaders and stewards of their people: their life, well being, health survival and a means of thriving forward. So, while it was Plenty Coups who experienced the dream, it was up to the elders to put it into context and action to the benefit of the people.

We are not an indigenous people. I am not your chief. Dreams in our culture don’t have the same weight or authority as they did for The Crow and Plenty Coups.

However, the voice of God is ignored at our peril. Human foolishness and our pride in our strength will ultimately make us humble before a power that vastly surpasses our feeble understanding.

I am your spiritual guide. I have been called by God to be with you for a particular reason at a particular time for your spiritual nurture. I have data, flow charts and means of extracting information so that you may move forward. I have executed those tasks with a coolness and detachment that a researcher needs to have.

As always happens, God shows God’s self in a different way.

And so God showed me this dream.

I am sharing it with you so that you may interpret it yourselves. In the context of this community, and for your well being as you move forward. The images were given to me. And now I am, with honor and humility, sharing it with you.

I have not embellished, added or editorialized anything in my narrative. I am not sharing it with you to test you. I am offering it t you as my gift to you. I pray that you accept it, take it into your hearts, and make it part of the fabric of your lives as you move forward. I will leave the interpretation and meaning and importance of my dream up to you. Do with it as you will, for it is offered freely to you.

So now, the dream:

Mary and I had just arrived at a new place.  We were all settled in and were happy.  One sunny spring day, I was shown by an elder figure a place where I had not been yet which was either on our property or a place where I go all the time, but had not been to this particular place yet.

I was shown a vegetable garden, but the plants were all mature, and the tomatoes and eggplant and peppers all had ripe fruit, even though it was early spring.  I was surprised by that and was told that the person who previously had the garden let the seeds from last year fall to the ground where that particular plant was.  So tomatoes grew where tomatoes had been planted.  And then I saw blocks of plants where they were last year: eggplant, peppers, spring onions, lettuce, peas, winter squash. All were in squares and each square had rows in them.  In a covered place like a greenhouse, but more open, I saw cauliflower and Brussels sprouts growing.  The Brussels sprouts were fully formed and the cauliflower had fallen on its side and had blanched itself. Outside the structure there was a trellis which was heavy with pea pods.  When I said that I didn’t like to grow peas because they didn’t have enough nutrients, the elder said “OK” and we moved on to the next part of the garden.  The garden was well maintained.  There were paths, light straw mulch made weeds nonexistent and I was happy that there wouldn’t be a lot of weeding to do, just watering and harvesting. I put my hand in the soil, and it was lightly textured, and dark in color and crumbly when I sifted it through my fingers. There was Swiss chard, spinach and other leafy greens ready for me to pick and eat.

I was told to pick the fruit. I had a large reed basket. Some of the tomatoes were older, knobby vines and some of the fruit had blossom end rot, but others were perfectly formed and different colors ranging from pink to deep purple.  The smaller fruits were in better shape than the larger ones, and I picked them. The eggplant were huge and glossy, and there were very many of them. Some of the eggplant had cross pollinated with the tomatoes and had made a new kind of fruit: an eggplant that looked like a tomato when the elder figure cut it open after I asked what it was.  The sweet peppers were green and a mature bright red, and the hot peppers were on the other side of the garden, red and ready to be picked.  The lettuce was a bright green leaf type, but there were some smaller heads of lettuce and some cabbage, both young transplants and mature heads waiting to be picked.

The garden was large, but not too big for one person to handle. I was told that the seeds had fallen where they grew last year and that they grew in their same designated space.  The garden was flourishing, and I felt joy and amazement that the garden was so plentiful even though it was only mid May.  I had been bending over, and when I straightened up, I could see the garden: not too big, but almost overflowing with vegetables, again I was amazed at the amount of fruit there was even though it was so early. I felt the sun warm my face. I smiled and I was happy.