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I jolted awake around 3:30 A.M. with this dream:

Word had gotten around that I was actually dying. My doorbell rang. My phone rang. Others knocked on the opened front door and came in and made their way to my bedroom, already filled with others paying their last respects. I’m sitting up in my full bed, unsupported, wearing a T-shirt, my forearms resting on the covers. Shortness of breath prevents me from speaking clearly. My words are muddled.

This startling dream gave me considerable pause: the ravages of death in my body, witnessed by others. Other dreams have suggested end-of-life issues, each with its own lesson, but none this specific.

My first response to this morning’s dream was repulsion toward the crowds filling my bungalow and their raucous noise. Seated atop my full bed, however, you would never have known: I was all smiles and gratitude toward my well-wishers, despite shortness of breath and muddled words.

I’ve always envisioned my serene passing like a beam of sunlight slowly opening onto vistas of Quiet Beauty.

Yet, no indications of physical death appear imminent today. In view of my recent shift—letting death have its will in my body, when and how it will—this morning’s dream seems more of a call for a deeper stillness in my psyche, for a more mindful maintenance of my boundaries in the daylight world, and for communion with each remaining life breath in the time allotted me.

My gratitude for the opportunity to prepare for the greatest experience of this life knows no bounds—to enflower it with full-blown white roses that never fade.

At 6:15 A.M., I awoke with these dreams:

I’ve joined a large group of animated women who are working for global peace. All wear dresses made of the same cotton fabric: blue with pastel flowers. My A-line dress with the scalloped hem fits perfectly.

The first dream emerging from my unconsciousness describes the total engagement of a large group of animated women, each distinct, but focused upon achieving global peace. I’m honored to be identified among them. Their task is daunting: developing relationship skills among all individuals and nations. Only heartfelt prayer can bring this about. Yet, this is happening and has been for all millennia. Planet Earth still survives, with yet another spring’s coloring.

A tall strong man hurries in my direction intent upon harming me. I see him and call out to him: “Such dithering nonsense! There’s nothing you can do to upset me. Besides, you’re not a man—Just a large fish, with scales scintillating in the sun. Quite distinctive, actually.”

The second dream depicts an ugly man, a nasty scoundrel: Scowling eyes, beefy biceps, and ropy muscles that ripple with each stride in hot pursuit of me. For some reason, I hold my ground and wait as he morphs into a large fish, with scales scintillating in the sun; their beauty stuns me.  

The Fish looks back at me and knows I’ve identified with its Greek equivalent icanthus: acronym standing for the ancient Christian symbol meaning Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.  

Admittedly, such a tall strong man can accompany death’s assault upon body-mind-spirit, mine included, but it’s all a ruse. Beneath, lies release and eternal life, its foreshadowing, a welcome reprise as I wait.

Plink, plink—plink, plink, plink—pink-plink—plink—plink …

Following a November gusher, droplets from the gutter pool pin oak leaves within interconnecting light-circles, splayed upon earth-toned pavers. Variegated browns—cordovan, burnt umber, russet, tan, sepia, beaver—quicken our senses to this drama, its ordinariness melding into the extraordinary.

It’s about the circles, many enclosed within larger ones outlined in dark chocolate, ephemeral and translucent. Within our watery depths a corresponding shimmering occurs. It’s like glancing into a parallel universe and relishing its treasure. We feel whole despite the paradox of the leaves’ decomposition within such raw beauty.

Such glimpses of our Creator’s imprints afford a critical wetness in this time of killing drought.

We just have to pause and look for them. They are all around us.

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