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I woke at 6:30 A.M. with this dream:

It was mid-afternoon, the sun enlivening scarlet knockout roses in the backyard. Over the weekend, nieces and nephews and their children had gathered for a reunion. A steady stream of stories energized everyone. Especially impressive was their maturity; it being a long while since we last met. Many commented on how well I looked, attired in my yellow T-shirt, shorts, and sandals, my limbs showing signs of summer’s tan. “It’s because of the exercise,” I said.

In this dream I showed no signs of disease, despite my white hair and wrinkles. I felt vibrant, deeply loved, glad to have been included in my extended family for this reunion. No one had difficulty with my introversion, only conversing with them as my energy allowed, unlike past gatherings at the Tan-Tar-A Resort when I had exhausted myself to fit in.

My response about exercise was pivotal: both in toning the body and the psyche. Only a surgeon’s warning in 1970 prodded me to exercise my arthritic body every morning, a practice I still maintain. And only pesky dreams surfacing in the 1980s drove me into Jungian analysis and mandated a gut job for my psyche teeming with specters. Occasionally like this extended family dream, my authentic self surfaces.

On a deeper level, the dream suggests lively connectedness within the kinship archetype, the Jungian designation of patterns that repeat themselves in the unconscious of human beings. Fossil remains of families have been unearthed all over the world: they just are. Given everyone’s flawed character, however, it is the rare family that enjoys such intimacy. This dream story of my relatives, however, seems to be one and fills me with joy.

Could this be a glimpse of eternal life—The kinship archetype evolving in multiple systems of creations in which we participate even now? Just a thought…

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It happened again on our court, the second potluck since the beginning of 2015, this time to celebrate the onset of spring’s greening.

It was evening. Hesitant breezes carried moist-earth smells, cardinals chirruped, and patches of green engulfed lawns. Neighbors stepped lively carrying covered dishes, food warmers, and bottles as they stepped onto the porch of our host and hostess. “Do come in,” Bob exclaimed opening the screen door.

Inside, a warm aura of creamy yellows, honeyed woods, and burnished antiques enfolded us within a world of textured care. Forty-three years Bob and Candy have lived in this house; each room still carries the presence of the four children they have raised. Today their grandchildren play in the toy room.

In no time, the dining room, its table filled with treats, the living room, and the deck swelled with stories: Bob’s volunteer work at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, his wife’s practiced eye for antiques, another neighbor’s falls and need for physical therapy, the renovation plans of parents wanting to raise their toddlers on our court, the joy of another’s eight-month old grandson, the diminishment of a ninety-year old mother living with her daughter and husband, little ones pulling a train and scooting upon a plastic truck, the recent divorce of another¾even the story about the forty year-old-pin oak tree in the back yard.

So Spring continues greening the spirits of my neighbors, no matter the season. I’m grateful to live among them.

 

 

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