Has a dream ever felt so real, that you were surprised when you woke up? It was just such a dream that I had last December. It was set within a college or university. I was with a familiar friend of mine (although I didn’t know who it was in my real life). We were sitting in a professor’s office. She was a well-known, highly respected and learned professor. For some reason, her appearance came to me in high detail. She was of average height, had dark hair in a medium length blunt cut, with bangs. She had kind of oval black glasses. She was dressed very plainly and had a calm, friendly demeanor. She and this person I was with, were talking at great length and in particulars about deforestation on the planet, global warming, the effects on the habitat, square miles of area of tree density – all very statistical and scholarly. They started to talk about one forest in particular, near where we were, in the same factual lively manner – on and on. I wasn’t saying much, but was interested and listening. At one point, the professor turned to me and asked me for my thoughts on the subject. I said, “I don’t know much about the factual bits that you’re discussing here, but I’ve walked that forest many, many times. I know that the scent of pine is strongest in the morning, when the sun is coming up. I know that the filtered sunlight through the trees makes delightful looking dances on the undergrowth, and that the wind through the pine needles sounds almost identical to the sound of the stream (that runs through the forest), after a heavy rain. I know that the animals sense a storm coming long before we humans do, and when they stir and move in a certain way, rushing through the forest for cover, that you should too. I know that the peace of the place and the cool dampness settles on me like a silky cloak. The professor was fascinated by the contrast of the two conversations. My friend and the professor “knew about” the forest. But I “knew” the forest – had been there, breathed it in, it was part of me. Then we talked on about that difference. It was as if she never heard of or considered such a thing before. What was illuminating to her in that moment, was that “knowing” is much more intimate (and alluring) than a “knowing of” or a “knowing about”. A “knowing” is deep, with an impression being made on your heart. It moves you. For some reason, I was all of a sudden brilliant on the subject (you know how abstract dreams can sometimes be), and started to elaborate on all of this to say that a “knowing” in this way, takes time and desire. The enemy of this kind of knowing is busyness. And that busyness, in current modern culture, could cause this true “knowing’s” utter demise. The more busyness, the less time and opportunity for true knowing – which leads to less desire….it’s the path to losing it all together.
I believe the dream carries a message to us that is obvious in it’s telling. It is sacred to know a person, place or a thing in this way. In fact, it is essential to life, and is becoming an endangered species. Pause. Rekindle the desire within to discover and know again.