I have a reoccurring dream that comes once every year or so. In the dream I return to my childhood home on Meadow Road. It is a place I own and I have the keys in my pocket. Going inside it is I know that nobody has been inside in a very long time. In this shadowy dream world the house is dark and uninviting. The dream tells me this is my second home which I rarely frequent and am the only one in my family who does. I always end upstairs in my old bedroom which is also dark and it never occurs to me to turn on the lights.
I always thought this dream was strange and wondered why it occurred. I stumbled upon its source while my Mom was in town and was asking her to confirm a few very old memories of when I was very young.
Through the conversation I stumbled upon the memory of my first few times taking the bus to school and how I felt. Up until the fourth grade I had lived on Meadow Road and would walk to school. Then we moved to Golfview Woods and I suddenly lived in the same neighborhood as a good portion of my classmates and had to take the bus. I now remembered arriving at school and the strange conflicting emotions it brought.
One emotion was of newness and excitement. The other and equally strong emotion was of deep sadness as I realized my old house, just a few blocks away was no longer mine and I could not return there. After school ended I would not be walking home anymore and would have to return to this strange bus with it smells of faux leather, exhaust and young body odor. It would take me forty minutes to arrive at our new house, a place that was very exciting but not yet a home.
We had abandoned our old house, left it in the cold. It was the only home I had ever known and our betrayal never hit me harder as it did when I stepped off that bus in the chilly early morning of the fourth grade. Did the house wait for us to return and grow sad when it remained empty day after day? Did the memories within its walls, bright and cheerful and continually created, slowly turn a dull and sad color as an old photograph that sits and collects dust?
With the purchase of a new house my life had forked. The new branch would grow with me creating experiences, making friends and living life in Golfview Woods; the branch of Meadow Road and Grandview now ended with further growth sprouting only in the realm of what could have been, alternate reality and dreams. Who would I be if there was no fork, there was no move and the branch grew in one straight line ? My whole life experience would be vastly different! The course of life is a quickly flowing river and we are subject to its currents, bends and directions. We can paddle here or there when opportunities arise to modify our course but often the river itself changes and over this we have absolutely no control.
Th dream of me returning to Meadow road is a manifestation of my desire as a ten year old boy to return to that house, my home and realizing I cannot. In the meditative state of deep sleep my mind tries anyway but finds only gray, flickering shadows through which it cannot penetrate to reach the beautiful, warm and inviting home of the past.
I sat there, in my fourth grade wooden desk with very heavy thoughts. I missed my home, just a few blocks away and was very sad. This dream is those thoughts and emotions which buried themselves so very deep in my subconscious, saying hello again.