Uncle Archs’ Surprise Dream

you know how, you never know where you are in your dreams, but you know the people you are with. That seems to be how it is for me, for any parts of dreams i can remember in that lucid waking time. I am always in rooms, in houses that on waking are not from any reality i’ve lived. But i am always with people, somewhere in the crowd, that i recognize instantly. I think it’s because the places my not really matter, but the relationships are the core of what the dream is about.

Uncle Arch and I have just arrived at this beach house from some family gathering. Everyone else in the family will be arriving momentarily. We are the first to arrive, but let ourselves in since the place is unlocked, which is no surprise to us. The adventure of the ride to get here has been hazardous enough, least of all from my driving. It seemed to entail going over bridges that were in disrepair to the point of collapse, and roads that were inches underwater in spots. But we made it, with a little bit of diversionary conversation from me, and seeming nerves of steel from Uncle Arch.

Now that we are the first to arrive here, i go to retrieve something for Uncle Arch to drink, and maybe myself also. Although i say (awake now) that i don’t know where this was, in my dream i knew exactly where we were, as if it was some place we had both been before and were comfortable to be in. it was a place we had shared memories with the family before. I get a cooler we brought with us and bring it from the car to the porch on the house, where there are tables and chairs in view of the ocean. Quickly set up a table with a drink and food for Uncle Arch, then go to find him. 

Uncle Arch has let curiosity get him, and is no longer sitting where he first plopped in a living room chair, i find a door halfway open into one of the older unused bedrooms. And there is Uncle Arch, opening the bedroom closet door. Inside are years of gathered momentoes: newspaper articles, cards sent between friends, a few “winning” banners, trophies, a lifetime’s worth of accomplishments for an accomplished life…the problem being – i know why all those memories are stored there. These will soon be one of Claudine’s surprise gifts of love to present to Uncle Arch. But for now it is a secret that they exist. And in this moment I am feeling guilty, just for being there, as he has discovered this secret collection of loving moments. Uncle Arch has just opened this pandoras’ box and his eyes, just ever so slightly water – i know he knows the breadth of the sentiment in front of him – and he knows that i know that he knows. You see, Uncle Arch sees through everything. Says little, sees all.

By my very nature i want the secret kept so Claudine will have the joy of her surprise. i fumble awkwardly with the suggestion that Bryant and Claudine are fixing things up at the beach house and moving things around a bit. Uncle Arch kindly accepts that story. And at the same time Bryant shows up in the bedroom doorway. I don’t know how much of my excuse of a story he has heard, but he jumps right in to verify that he is fixing the door hinges, which he proves by testing one out. Simultaneously Claudine shows up with an iced drink in hand for Uncle Arch, and shifts the conversation deftly to a new subject. We all seem to know what is going on without saying anything, there is a sense of shared boundless love between all of us and within each of us.

At this moment i woke, and tears started down my cheeks. So i came to my computer to check my calendar thinking it must be Uncle Arch’s birthday – well i’m close by a week. i rarely have dreams that real, his presence was just so real to me in the dream and as i woke.

So i guess my gift to you is to know that his presence is still strongly felt.


we live forever with dreams

in dreams we return forever