Around midnight, I awoke with this dream:

I’m surprised. Someone has given me a new dress: black, woven wool, two-piece. I slip the skirt over my head; its hem gently flares around my mid-calf. Embroidered flowers—reds, oranges, yellows, and whites entwined by green leaves—band the circle neckline and the cuffs of the long sleeves. I pull on the form-fitting top, then stand before a full-length mirror. I’m pleased, despite not having an occasion to wear it.

Someone suggests a friend who knows me very well, even to the correct dress size that I used to wear, when younger. What’s curious, however, is its color, black. Having worn the long black habit of a nun for ten years, I promised never to wear that color once I left the convent; in my perception, black symbolized renunciation, disintegration, and death. As a single woman, I wanted desperately to live and shopped at Lily Pulitzer’s whenever I could—the more color, the better, to enhance my toned body.

On a deeper level, however, the new dress suggests the lovely persona that I will reveal to those around me for that special occasion, whenever it occurs.

Perhaps I’ll wear the new dress for my home-going?