Sunday, January 22, 2006

Of Sleep and Dreams

It's amazing to me how angelic our kids look when they're sleeping (canine and human, of course). It's especially true of our Labs. :o)

No impish grins.
No mischievous gleams in their eyes.
No playful yips for attention.
No pawing or jumping or teasing or nudging.

Just peace-filled slumber. Or fun-filled dreams of chasing birds, romping in the fields, and splashing in ice-cold streams.

For them, the transition from sleep to waking isn't sudden or rude. They yawn and stretch and sigh themselves awake. Then they're ready for the world. Real life, for a Lab, is every bit as fun as their dreams.

I've never known a Lab to have a nightmare (fears, yes--like Ridge with thunder; nightmares, no).

We humans, however, no matter how peaceful we look while sleeping, have nightmares. At least this one does. And sometimes our wakings terrify us.

I've had more bad dreams in recent months than in the last several years combined. Yet, life is good just now: not as difficult or as stressful as it has been; no crises; no crushing disappointments; and less stress. I'm exercising; I'm taking care of myself; I'm eating right; and all is well (with my soul and otherwise, and with that of my family members and friends).

It doesn't make sense. Nightmares now, when life is smooth and I have little to fear?

Yes, I've lived through seasons when my waking world felt far worse and more frightening than slumber land, and during those times I preferred to keep dreaming than to wake up and face the day (though face the day I did).

But life holds a gentle, quieter season for me right now. So why the bad dreams? Why now? Weird.

I'd love know what dreams really are. What's their purpose? Where do they come from? What do they reveal? And if answers to those questions exist, then how do those answers apply to our canine companions?

Mystery. Life is full of mystery. That's the wonder of living, I guess.

But I sure would like to know about dreams. And if I can't know, then at least I wish I'd quit having these dreams about death and unfaithfulness and sickness and disease and separation and loneliness and failure (you name it; I've envisioned it a dream lately).

I'd much rather join Baxter and Elsie and Ridge in their outdoor-adventure dreams, even if my legs twitched or I barked and drooled in my sleep. :o)

In any case, if I slept like my canine kids, I'd probably sleep better. Maybe I'll see if they'll tell me their secret.

I suppose I can ask, but I doubt they'll tell. ;o)

'Til next time,

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