So, I had this dream this morning right before I woke up to get up for the day. It happened sometime between the time my wife left for work around 6 am and the time I actually arose from my night’s rest around 7:30 am.
Before I continue on with the dream, allow me to provide you a little back story as to why I was sleeping in on a school day. In the years prior to embarking on my new ALS-induced lifestyle, I was what people referred to as a morning person. I used to spring out of bed minutes before the alarm would ring, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, at the groan-inducing time of 5 am. For the past nine years, I arrived at school and entered my classroom at 7 am, at least an hour before the first period bell would ring.
However, this year, when I decided not to go back into the classroom as a teacher, my role at school changed, as well as my morning routine on some days. I have offered my services to the school as a volunteer, doing various and sundry tasks to assist my former colleagues in whatever ways they can think of. This arrangement, while keeping me involved and productive in an environment that I am both comfortable and expert in, accomplishes two ancillary goals: it allows me to choose my own workload and to set my own hours. And today was a textbook example of the latter.
After a summer of late nights and lazy mornings, the start of the school year caught me woefully unprepared in the area of energy management. The toxic combination of waking up early and working too hard and too long (the standard here is relative, mind you), quite frankly, kicked my ass. I made the executive decision, on the way home from my second day of work, to modify my arrival time on the third day until 11 am. This amended eta allowed me to grab a jamba juice and pick up my weeks worth of new comics prior to gracing the hallowed halls of school with my presence.
Back to the dream.
Sometime this morning, a had the most vivid and real-feeling dream that I have had in quite some time. It felt as if I was in first-person and third-person at the same time. To clarify this statement a bit, imagine what it would feel like to watch yourself doing whatever it was you were doing and actually being involved in that activity. I know it sounds weird, but if you can buy into that idea then you have a notion of what the dream felt like.
In my dream I was walking down the street. That’s it. Just walking down the street. I recall sidewalks and trees, friends pulling up in cars and offering me a ride and I would refuse them. I felt my legs moving and my feet grabbing the pavement and propelling me forward. I even felt the wind blow through my hair and cool off my face. It was the most incredible feeling ever; it was as if I was there in the flesh and blood. Not only did I feel all of this, I actually saw it as well. I had a bird’s eye view of the entire scene as it played out. That was a trip as well. I watched every step and every footfall.
The entire experience was invigorating. It was as if I was normal again. How something as simple as walking down the street could fill my soul with so much joy was beyond my comprehension at that time, all I knew was that I never wanted that feeling to end. I’m fortunate enough at this stage in my disease to still have the ability to move around under my own power, albeit with a whole lot of wobbleliness and uncertainty, but I still can. This dream reminded me that the simple act of walking down the street is a gift and a blessing that should be celebrated and savored for a lifetime.