I dreamed last night that I was on a beach. Gentle waves lapped a golden crescent of sand, clean and glowing in the afternoon sun. Behind me, the gold of the wet sand slowly faded as it moved up up to yellow-white dunes, topped with scraggly little trees that were probably a thousand years old but so very stunted by the wind and the waves that shaped all of their days.
In front of me on the sand was a laundry basket. I started to fold the clothes in it, placing them in piles on the sand. I saw another pair of hands reach in, pull out a green tee shirt. I followed the hands up the arms, to the face, and saw that it was my mother. She smiled at me as she folded that shirt, put it on a pile, and reached in for something else. The waves brushing the sand sang to us and the sky opened huge and blue behind her head.
And then, another pair of hands. Again, my eyes traced up the arms to the shoulders, the face. It was my daughter. She looked at me and smiled, then she looked at my mother and frowned. She was folding a red towel.
The song of the waves increased suddenly, with no warning, and I looked over my shoulder to see a huge wave coming, so large that the roiling, foaming grayness of it blocked the entire sky. And then my mother called over its song, “Save the laundry.” My daughter and I put the piles into the basket and I reached down to grab it, to pick it up and run, when the giant wave arrived.
I was swirling and spinning and crashing in a gray, salty universe. The water pulled at my legs and arms, whipped my head around, crawled into my nose and I pushed and kicked. I felt myself rise up and up and up until my face, and then my head behind it, broke the surface. The perfectly blue sky arced above me. The whole world was the grayness of the wave, and its smaller siblings who were crawling along behind it.
I turned, flipped my legs out behind me, started body surfing. I looked to the right and saw my daughter, her brown hair flowing out behind her, belly down, riding the top of the wave crest as I was. I smiled, fluttered my fingers at her. We rode the wave in, the shore suddenly miles from where we had started. We made it safely back to the golden sand crescent, though, and came to our feet in the foam of the retreating wave holding hands. She spoke. “Where is Nana?”
We both looked for my mother. She was gone. I knew that the wave had taken her. “She was never a swimmer.” My daughter’s words echoed my thoughts. I looked from her face up, to the left, hoping to find my mother higher up with the stunted trees. Instead, I found them decorated with brightly colored laundry, like the wishes supplicants tie to the fences and walls at a Japanese temple. I walked towards them, up and up, feeling the climb in the fronts of my calves, feeling the roughness of the sand with my toes as they gripped into the dune to push me forward-up.
And then I was in the trees, and they were much larger than they had looked from below. I turned and looked behind me. The gray ocean was endless, the beach a tiny sliver next to it. I searched for a bobbing head of gray hair, and saw nothing. With a sigh, I turned back to the trees. They were three, four, ten times my height and decorated with blue pants and yellow shirts and pink towels and purple sundresses. On my right, I sensed movement. I looked and my daughter was climbing a tree and tossing down laundry, stiffened with salt.
“Save the laundry,” she said.
I was standing under the tree, laundry basket in my hands, catching the items as they fell from her small star of a hand, far above me in the tree. I could barely see her up there. The sky was so blue, the tree was so green, the laundry was so bright – everything glowed, and the glow moved into, through, out of her.
And then, I woke up.
What I’ve done since my last post:
- Got a marriage license
- Scheduled a civil wedding ceremony
- Helped my daughter move out
- Started Chime and A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents (yes, at the same time)
- Filled up my library checkouts on my Kindle
- Made a shrug and frogged it
- Made several to many (lost count) Rainbow Loom bracelets
- Bought cheap yarn for no good reason besides, well, yarn
- Got a new nightgown that I am in love with and want to wear all the time
- Got a set of Addi Turbos, moved Multnomah to them, and started working on it again
- Gone on several bike rides, sweated to many Leslie Sansone workouts, took lots of walks
- Worked on some web site authentication and redirection
- Backed up and restored a lot of databases
What I hope to do before I post again:
- Plan a little honeymoon
- RSVP for a party
- Get Multnomah to the lace, or at least make it grow by a few inches
- Figure out what to do with that brown yarn
- Go through my yarn stash and straighten it up
- Clean up my knitting bag and get my active projects down to two
- Clean the upstairs really well
- Start working on the closet in the upstairs bedroom
- Schedule a go-live
- Finish the two books I am reading and maybe two or three more
- Lose another pound