Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A nod to my childhood...

I had a dream last night that Chris and I were moving into an enormous house on the ocean.  It had a big swimming pool, and each room was marvelously decorated, though not to my personal taste.  I had mixed feelings, in my dream, about moving to this house, which was so large I couldn't even find all the rooms.  I have had similar dreams in the past, but last nights house was different.  At the end of the dream, which came to me just in the moments before dawn, I had a very clear image of my mother.  She was sitting down, wearing her favorite turquoise blue shirt.  Her head was turned towards her right shoulder, looking at me.  A meaningful glance.  And then, in the way of dreams, poof! She was gone. 

She was around 55 years old in that dream glimpse, and looked strong, healthy and fit. All day long I've been thinking about that peek I had of her, and wondering if there was some message she was trying to pass on.  Some say that we are open to visits and messages from those who have passed on in the moments before we wake.  But I digress. 

While I worked today, and thought about dreams and my mom, I also thought about my childhood. 
If you were to ask me, I would tell you I had a happy youth. 
The youngest of 5 kids, I was doted on by my siblings, and I grew up feeling well-loved.  We had a nice home, a marvelous swimming pool and several acres to play on. Best of all, my parents let me have pets. We always had a dog or two, and I had a long list of personal pets. It started with a yellow canary in a domed gold cage. He was my 6th birthday present and I named him, "Peep."  He delighted me, lovely in his sunny window, singing a breath-taking song. There were turtles the size of quarters in a plastic bowl with a plastic palm tree, parakeets that I trained to fly to me when I raised my index finger and held it out for them to perch on.  There were hamsters, gerbils, friendly guinea pigs, an unfortunate lizard, and mice, (no matter how often I cleaned their home, they made my bedroom smell terrible.)  For a long span of time I kept multiple aquariums. Some with tropical fish and others with fancy goldfish. I loved them all, and no day was ever happier than a day that a  new pet arrived. 

In the above picture I was 8 years old.  Crazy for animals, even then.  Fast forward to today, when each morning begins with me up and out the front door before I am fully awake.  My dogs follow me, and in a moment I am alive with the dawning day.  The weather, the sun rise, the scent of the air, the very earth beneath my feet jars me into the joy of being.It is the most wonderful way to begin a day.

And then there are the animals. Goats at the gate, waiting for breakfast and milking.  The horse at the fence, impatient for her grain.  The chickens and ducks, waiting to be released from the safety of their coops. When I open their doors they race out. SO much to do, and see, and eat.  And I am there to witness them embracing their next adventure. 

Chris often asks, when he sees my joy during times I interact with my animals, "What would 8 year old Daryl have thought of this..?"

I can answer that question easily.  Eight year old Daryl would have been in a delirious hurry to grow up. And she would have wanted to live right here in this old house, and spend her days with animals.  It's a dream.

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