— by Alyce Faye Bragg
Winter has opened January’s door with icy fingers and allowed snow and frigid winds to enter our hills. We shiver under the onslaught of cold wind that lowers our freezing temperatures even lower with a wind chill factor, and we long for warmer weather.
So many songbirds, especially lovely red cardinals, crowd the feeder that it is push and shove, while the smaller birds drop to the ground beneath, content to feed on the fallen seeds. Two huge blackbirds (must be ravens; they are as big as banty chickens) stalk around the yard surveying the smorgasbord. At night the deer prowl through the yard and garden, searching for something to eat. All wildlife is concentrating on survival.
We, too, retreat to our dens and huddle around our cheery fires wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, and drink hot chocolate or sassafras tea and dream of warm sunshine on fresh green grass. I’ve been studying on dreams lately after someone gave me a book on dreams and their traditional meanings.
The Bible tells us, “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (Ecc. 5-3) but we wonder why we have the dreams that we do. Most of the time our dreams elude us the next morning, and trying to recall a dream is difficult. It seems that if you can remember just a little tag of it, you should be able to pull it through a hole in your memory and recall all of it.
Most dreams are just nonsense and mean you worked too hard that day, or you ate something for supper that disagreed with you. But there are dreams that have real meaning–a portent of something to happen or a warning of unforeseen danger. There are many instances in the Bible of prophetic dreams which were always fulfilled.
My mother was psychic and experienced the mental ability to foresee events before they happened. She also had dreams that foretold of impending deaths, even as a child. I went to see her one day and she was very agitated and crying. She had taken a nap and dreamed that one of the family was drowning in the farm pond and she was trying to rescue him. A day or so later one of her grandsons was killed. She seemed to know when her dreams meant something.
One Sunday afternoon I went to her home, and she was so happy and laughing. “I’ve just had the best dream,” she exclaimed. (Daddy had been dead for several years at that time.) She went on to tell me, “Daddy and I were walking through this beautiful field, hand in hand, where the loveliest flowers were blooming. He was young and healthy, and we were so happy. We stopped, and he kissed me. Then we walked on and came to a fence.
He told me, “I’ve got to go now” and I said, “I want to go with you!” He answered me, “You can’t come now, but you can come later.” Then he stepped over the fence and gradually disappeared in the mist. She had the most radiant look on her face. It was several years later that she followed him.
One of my good friends from Pennsylvania shared a dream she had recently, and it was so encouraging that I want to share it with my readers. She wrote, “My Mom passed away one year ago on Thanksgiving, and I carried a lot of guilt over having to put her in a nursing home, even though it was a Church of God one, and a good one. She was 95 and had Parkinson’s dementia. She went to a hospice close my sister’s and brother’s home in a neighboring county.
“Mom came to me in a dream and she looked so good–like she was in her prime and was so happy. We didn’t talk–it was like we communicated in our thoughts. She smiled and said, “Look at me! I am doing so well! I am so happy!” I felt so much relief knowing she understood that we had no choice in putting her in a nursing home. Her care, with all her medicines, etc. was beyond our abilities to care for her at home.
“I am not sure if this was a dream or a visitation. I like to think that our loved ones can see us and communicate with us once they have passed away. The Bible says that ’we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses’ (Heb. 12-1) and I often feel my mother and grandmother near me.”
These kinds of dreams are precious.
I ran across a poem written by my cousin, Frank (Bobby) S. M. Samples that was written several years ago that explains the beginning of my back problems. I think it is good enough to share.
ODE TO A GRANDMA
There’s some things about Grandmas that make
Like a full cookie jar any day of the week.
And dinners on Sunday with ice cream and cake
Far better than anything Mother could make.
There are stories when she was a child years ago
And all of the games that they played in the snow.
New clothes and new shoes for school in the fall
Sounds much more exciting than a modern day mall.
For small cuts and bruises she’s better by far
Than all the great doctors and hospitals are
For great consolation is found on her lap
For small wounded spirits and babies that nap.
But Grandmas sometimes must stay in their bed
‘Cause they’re old, it seems that Papa once said,
And they get arthritis and varicose veins
And various other non-descriptive pains.
One Grandma is different than any I’ve known
For some of her grandkids are nearly quite grown
And although she’ll admit to five decades, it’s true,
She still tries to do what those young people do.
I am told that she recently took to her bed,
Not from arthritis nor a pain in her head,
But cavorting in bliss through the woodlands one day
Did compression-like fractures on two vertebrae.
Now one might expect that a gal of her years
Might trip on the curb while shopping at Sears
Or fall when a bus stopped with too great a lurch
Or plunge down the rain-slickened steps of a church.
But no, such a fate was not hers to be.
She injured herself on a fast ATV
By bouncing too high for the strength of her spine
And it hurts me to say she’s a cousin of mine!