To Sleep, To Dream

When I was very young I played underneath a huge pine tree in our back yard.  It was a towering thing, the kind of tree that belongs in upstate Washington or something like that.  Birds flew from a dozen different hiding spots within it’s turquoise needles at all times of the day; it was bursting with life.

There wasn’t much grass below the tree.  It was mostly dirt, some sand (transported from my sandbox), pine needles and swaths of unidentifiable weeds.  More often than not, all I did under there was play with Matchbox cars, paving little roads with their little wheels, their imagined little drivers having life-or-death battles out on Arizona stretches of highway, where even the cops had a death wish.

But sometimes I would try to dig.  I’d dig a hole as deep as I could dig it, just to see.  I’d try to dig the tree out (I imagine I thought I was closer to success than I actually was), sometimes I’d just dig a series of holes in certain patterns—I could not tell you why.

One especially sunny afternoon I awoke from a dream that was indescribable in it’s joy.  In the dream, I had been out in the backyard, playing under the tree, when I began to dig a hole.  The hole was deep and had solid walls and was more perfect than I suspected I was capable of.  Looking at my handiwork, I decided to extend the hole in a circular trough around the tree.  It took me a long time (even in a dream) to complete this task.  When I was done, the only thing to do, to a kid too young for kindergarten, was this: to fill it with water.  Then, of course, I’d have my own moat!

Which is exactly what I did.  To the best of my memory, the moat simply filled with water, the moment I wished for it.  It was, after all, a dream.  The water was perfectly blue, not like a moat in a grayed out knight movie, but like the azure lake of a country summer day.  It calmly surrounded the hulking tree—now looking more and more like a grand wooden fortress—and I had never been so proud of myself.

What is the one and only thing I can remember doing, then?  Why, I made a boat out of newspaper and floated it across, watching the tiny ripples it made, and the reflection of the swaying pine needles above my head.

4 Responses to “To Sleep, To Dream”

  1. There is nothing better than a pleasant dream, except reading about yours.

  2. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    Sounds pretty vivid for a dream. Is this the norm for your dreams?

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