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At 1:15 A.M., I awoke with this spirited dream:

Alone and in full health, I’m traveling through the Middle East. As I approach the outskirts of a dusty village, an old man with a serene countenance approaches me. On his forearm he carries something colorful. He tells me of tonight’s festival in the square with the fountain; then, invites me to come—Even has a long dress for me to wear so I’ll fit in with everyone.

Later as I stand before the mirror in my hotel room, I discover that the long dress with scoop neck and short sleeves fits perfectly; its hem stitched with tiny brass bells jingle with my movements. I smooth my hand over the coarse fabric, then trace my finger around swirls of vibrant reds, whites, blacks, and turquoises. My shell jewelry and sandals complement my new dress.

That evening, I walk to the square and join the dancing, already underway. Laughter tickles every cell in my body.

This dream speaks of wholeness, adventure, and relationship: wholeness in my robust health; adventure in the exploration of unknown worlds; and relationship in my socialization with others. Introducing me to such experiences is an old man who seems to have been watching for my arrival. He knows what I need for further spiritual maturation: dancing, in the sense of deeper communion with Higher Power, on my way through end time.

He also knows my need for proper apparel to fully benefit from the festivities planned for later and provides accordingly. My reflection in the mirror stuns me, perhaps like the guests attired for the wedding feast in one of Jesus’s parables.

Such dreams hearten me …

Recently, I encountered a botanist with a chaste spirit. Tall, ginger of hair, broad-boned, and brimming with energy, she researched mosses for over thirty years on her father’s woodland estate in Philadelphia. This passion honed her integrity and her scientific writings, which she shared with botanists all over the world. Also versed in many languages, she readily accessed other cultures and values.

Synchronous meetings with two gifted men in her mid-life, however, opened her to travel in distant lands and even more life experience that slowly radicalized her worldview. No longer bound to convention, to customary comforts, to the opinion of others, she became the woman she was destined to become: simple, wise, engaging.

Should you wish to meet this intriguing woman, she may be found within the pages of Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel, The Significance of All Things (2013). Its title, drawn from the writings of the German sixteenth-century-mystic-and-cobbler, Jacob Boehme (reputed Father of Botany), speaks of God imprinting love-signs within ongoing creation. A lifetime student of these signs kept the nineteenth-century protagonist, Alma Whitaker, chaste–certainly a woman for these times of bewildering change.

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