I had a dream recently, which I remembered when I woke up, which is unusual because I usually forget them.
Up until the age of twelve I lived in a small Surrey town, in a typical 1930s house in a street with other fairly identical houses. At one end of the street there is an area of grass where the ends of two other roads meet. This green is encircled by a road which goes from the end of one road to begin another one and in the middle there is a short bit of road which goes under a railway bridge. When I lived there my friends and I would often cycle under the bridge on our way somewhere. I remember that I was always surprised because one side of the bridge seemed so different to the other. I always felt I was entering a slightly different world when I went under the bridge.
In my dream I was twelve years old. I was walking along the road which was just round the corner to my road. I must have walked this bit of road hundreds of times. In my dream I rounded the corner and I was then in my own road, where I lived about halfway along. It was quite a long road. I looked across at the green, which is small, not big enough for children to play on and we all had gardens anyway. I saw the green and the telephone box which was there and looked beyond it to the bit of road going under the bridge and saw, in my head, in my dream, myself and my friends cycling under the bridge to the road beyond. The dream was incredibly vivid even though it was so ordinary; something I had done, in reality, so many times. I felt the pavement under my feel, heard my steps as I walked along, felt a light breeze on my face, looked at the houses on my left in all their detail and the green on my right with the telephone box. I saw and experienced it all so clearly.
When I woke up Iremembered the dream. Why would I have such a vivid dream about such an ordinary experience, one I had had so many times, all those years ago? It felt like more than a dream, which usually have a quality of unreality. This felt like a re-experience, as if I was actually there: it was so real.
I wondered what was so important about this experience, that I would re-visit it in a dream. Was it an important moment? I used to like rounding that corner and looking across at the green, seeing the telephone box and, beyond, the bridge. I was nearly home. Or would I have the same feeling about any other small experience of a few moments, re-visited in such a way in a dream? It made me realise how half-awake we are most of the time and how much of most of our moments we lose because part of us, part of our consciousness, is somewhere else having a separate experience; worrying or thinking or planning or remembering.
I think our quality of life, our experience of it, regardless of whether it is pleasant or not, has a vitality in childhood because we are present in it; we are not mentally off somewhere else at the same time. We are there. As we get older and we acquire responsibilities and to-do lists there is a tendency to lose this and as we get older still and lose some of those roles and responsibilities and their urgency, maybe we start to feel that our moments, mostly ordinary as they are, are not so important and not so absorbing. Maybe we need to give our moments more attention and pay heed to and even be grateful for each moment and each experience. Maybe each moment is a tiny life all by itself, a tiny breath of consciousness.
May you be well and happy and here, now.