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It began as a serene fall experience. Leaves crunching under foot on a cool afternoon as I walked along a country fence row with my infant grandson tucked against my side.
Suddenly as if from nowhere, a deer appears. It breaks into a dead run. The movement was surprising but not alarming until I realized it’s charging me.
The deer’s head crashes into my side waist high just below the ribs. As I bend with the blow, the child flies free of my grasp.
Extending my arms like an NFL receiver, I lunge forward in an attempt to rescue Luke as he tumbles through the air.
Abruptly, my hands and forehead collide with the carpet of a darkened bedroom floor. Both Luke and the deer were gone.
I forgot to mention that this occurred in a dream.
But the leap was very real. My head was inches from the nightstand and both my wife and dog had been jarred to their senses by the sudden movement. I propelled myself out of bed to catch that imaginary version of my grandson.
I’ve had vivid dreams frequently of late. Maybe it’s the head cold or more likely the over-the-counter medicines taken to ease the cold symptoms.
Dreams are a good thing. It gives our subconscious something to do while we sleep. It works off anxiety and sometimes results in ideas that our waking mind overlooks.
It’s also an indication that we’ve entered the valuable REM state of sleep which is most restful and rewarding.
I’ve always found dreams to be fascinating. Maybe it’s the Biblical story of Joseph and his power to interpret dreams that first captured my imagination. Are there hidden messages or prophetic truths embedded in our secret overnight thoughts?
Certainly, some dreams can be scary. Night terrors are a horrific thing and sometimes this late fall season with its Halloween overtones, scary movies and haunted houses just stir the beast between our ears.
But most dreams have little impact. They vanish with the beginning of a new day. I may experience a brief misty memory upon awakening but it often dissolves when I try to recall the details.
It seems the dreams that can be remembered are those interrupted by an alarm clock, the morning light or like this one when I tumble out of bed or otherwise awaken in the midst of them.
As a child, I found a method for remembering dreams. But I don’t recommend it.
I was 10 or maybe 12 when one summer vacation day spent in front of the television included Art Linkletter’s “House Party” program. This was a TV talk show with a varied, entertainment format.
On this day, a gentleman described a dream-remembering technique as a simple statement to repeat to yourself as you drift into slumber. Just repeat softly, “I will remember my dreams. I will remember my dreams.”
This form of self-hypnosis worked. After a couple tries, my dreams were locked into memory in full living color. It was like a parallel part of my life had been recorded.
The excitement of the discovery soon gave way to discomfort. It seems the dreams were so vivid they introduced confusion. My mind couldn’t separate fact from fantasy. The memories of dreams sometimes conflicted with my memories of the actual events that they mimicked.
The struggle ended when my bedtime chant changed, “I will NOT remember my dreams. I will NOT remember my dreams.”
It’s much better to stay rooted in reality. I’ll stick with daydreams. A mind is a terrible thing to chase.
Ben Sheroan is editor of The News-Enterprise. He can be reached at (270) 505-1764 or email@example.com.