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At 6 A.M., I awoke with this helpful dream:

It is night. I receive a call from a church member who asks my help with a problem. In my brown-and-white cotton shirtwaist dress, I look trim as I make my way to the church. Alone, I figure out the problem. Later, I understand that everyone is relieved.

In my psyche there is a problem-solver who serves me well, though often obscured and seemingly unavailable in daylight. In that realm I continually apply the Twelve Steps to my character defeats as they relate to my terminal illness, with increasing weakness and shortness of breath. Yet I’m still up and about.

I expect the dream’s problem is related to my flim-flam acceptance of what is coming, and the church needs my expertise in resolving it. No one has experienced the spiritual depths to sound its perimeters, unlike Job’s three friends who jabbered on and on from their neatly construed theologies like faucets belching tainted water.

In the dream everyone is relieved with my passing.It’s been a long wait and a source of unease, if not grief, for many. Who likes being reminded of their mortality?

So the dream speaks of the necessity of my aloneness and the steadfast presence of the problem-solver in my psyche. This will work out. I’m certainly not unique in facing the end of this life.

At 6 AM., I awoke with this dream:

I’m alone, content. I put my whole heart into singing lullabies until I no longer recall the next verse. Then, I recite nursery rhymes that I remember; their melodies and rhythms and repetitions tinkle, within, like my neighbor’s wind chimes.

A soothing dream, its story is unlike any I’ve experienced. I appear well, having sufficient breath to support both singing and reciting; their rhythms and repetitions lighten and enlarge my world. My bloodshot eyes smile, unlike my usual glum look when alone.

Within my psyche exists a caregiver, intent upon helping me befriend my terminally ill body and relax into each moment, despite death’s shortening them—A unique time in my life, I can only do this once.

But there was a time when I had belted out “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” marveling how the nursery rhyme echoed off the walls of my study. My Pilates coach recommended this practice to increase the stamina and volume in my speech. It worked for a while until, too fatigued, I stopped. 

However, the gift of this morning’s dream implanted these nurturing ditties within my unconscious and reminds to pull one of them out whenever overwhelmed—Like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” reminding me to gently pull for my body needs and access Higher Power’s grace for the next challenge. After all, it’s only a stream…

It happened again in my barren flower bed: through heaps of graying mulch resembling a ghost town with abandoned mine shafts emerged the solitary gold crocus, its glossy petals yearning for the sun, its striped blades greening in March breezes.

What is unique about this blooming is its recurrence, in the same place, for the past nine years, thwarting winter’s bite and jumpstarting spring’s promise.

Ecstatic by the splash of fresh color, gladness peaks, and I give thanks. 

If Creator God enlivens this solitary gold crocus, year after year…

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