I have always been one to put great stock into dreams. The dream places I go, the dream people I meet, the dream fears I constant face. They mean something to my conscious life and they often linger with me.
I am one to dream often and intensely. I often confuse dream conversations with real ones and carry emotions into my daily life. When I worked at the newspaper for a short time before I went to the Peace Corps, it was morning tradition for me to replay my dreams to the newsroom.
In Lesotho, though, those dreams became nearly life like, resembling my internal struggles. A young man telling me that no one can ever love me until I love myself. A second evacuation and another service ended abruptly. Another volunteer and I back in the U.S. wishing we hadn’t hoped the time away.
The ones that hurt the most were of my family. Seeing them, being with them only to wake to the reality of 9,000 miles and two years separation. Sometimes, it was only until I closed my eyes again that I could shake the rooted pain of missing them.
Home in those dreams was a combination of Pierre, Sioux Falls and Brookings. Dark and narrow alleys composed downtown Brookings while lofty buildings and thick traffic defined Sioux Falls. Pierre was represented in buildings (mostly my former schools) and an outdoor pool.
The Pierre City Pool was my summer home in my youth. First it was through open swims. Then swim team practice. And finally working as a life guard. Whether I was pretending to be Amanda Beard while following black lines or catching a high school crush playing disc golf in the adjacent park, few places have been the backdrop to my personal development the way that pool has.
Therefore, it makes sense that It comes up in my dreams at least once a month. Sometimes I am in the deep end floating. Others, it’s after hours and all of my favorite people at the moment are gathered on the deck for some kind of celebrating. Sometimes I wander through the concrete bathrooms or sit on the guard chair staring down from my little perch. I often try to visit the pool, even in off-season months, just to feel its comfort again but it never feels like it did when I was 7 or 17.
Still, it’s a home to me, a place that I am not scared to unveil something raw and fresh. It’s been a part of my life for so long that I don’t want it to ever, no matter how far I go.
Today, I parked at the causeway to meditate and try to soothe some of my anxiety and worry. Some of it was easily mopped up with calm and alone time, but there is still some so far stuck in the cracks I am not sure I’ll ever be able to squeak it clean. When I left I got this inclination that I should drive by the pool, that I hadn’t really been there since I came home, so I stopped out front for a second.
This pool can’t erase all of my fear, but it never really did, not in my dreams nor real life. Yet, it still stands as a place I can go to say that fear exists and as a monument of my past it reminds me that these muddled emotions, like all the ones before them, will evaporate. Then, I will wonder why I ever doubted.
Of course I didn’t know that then nor do I now, but the connection with this place, even in dream form, will continue to remind me that I am closer to my destine path than I know.
The Inspire Me feature will be delayed for a few weeks. There is so much going on right now that I can’t keep my emotions straight. I promise to return with some inspiration send. Please feel free to send me whatever is inspiring you in the meantime.