A Midsummer Night's Dream
There’s so much I want to tell you.
Let’s see if I can get caught up, while the boyos munch away upstairs.
Good day #1:
Strangely, began with a bout of insomnia. So I ended up rising at the ungodly hour of . (Hesh up, kids, I’m a night owl.) So I wrote.
Wait. Let me back up. Way up.
To a midsummer night’s dream.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I pay attention to my dreams. A lot of them are just rehashes of the day, some of them take place in a land and cityscape that has grown through the years, and I know my way around when I’m there. And then there are the other ones, like the dream I had on midsummer’s night.
I was sitting outside under the patio umbrella. An old man was sitting with me, holding a burlap sack full of plants I’d ordered. He pulled them out and handed them to me one by one. Every plant was an iris or hyacinth, all with richly colored petals and foliage; burgundies, and golds and sapphires, pale pinks and buttery yellows, even the occasional black flower with deep-green-pinstriped leaves.
None of them had roots. These strong, beautiful plants grew from tiny, shriveled bulbs. I can still feel the light coating of soil clinging to those bulbs, useless.
I didn’t know what to do. I wanted them to grow, but without roots I knew it was impossible. So I settled on trying to keep them alive for as long as I could. I wanted them to live so badly. They were so beautiful, and so rare, their existence nearly impossible.
I had a watering can with a wide top, so I started to put them into it. The water inside was cool, and I had run a pipe through it to oxygenate the water, like you would for a fish tank. I thought that would keep them alive longer, but there were so many. I knew I couldn’t do it.
“You are doing the best that you can.”
It was the old man, ‘the gardener’, as I thought of him. I looked at him and he smiled. He handed me another flower. I took it and noticed that some of my loose hairs were clinging to the bulb. I started to brush them off, when he reached out and stopped me.
“No,” he said. “Leave them. Those are the roots you squeeze to get ink.”
I looked up to see he was not an old gardener at all, but an old friend, someone who, as Popeye said over on And Hope and History Rhyme, ‘I only know from my dreams.’
My friend was still smiling at me, holding my trembling hands still. We sat that way for a long time.
I didn’t so much wake up, as realize my eyes were open, and full of tears.
I think I got the message.
So, good people; what are your thoughts on this?