I dream of my grandfather often since his passing three years ago. Sometimes I awake in tears, other times with a smile for the simple knowledge of how much he gave to me, to everyone in his life. But last night I was gifted a dream which was both bizarre and humorous too, as I will share with you now.
Waiting to Remember
My father, my grandmother (on my mother’s side) and I were in a barn on a farm I do not now recognize, but in my dream we were welcomed there. The air was moist in the late afternoon. Heavy clouds hung low as an ominous front threatened rain and wind in that way that occurs only in the Midwest, a thickness to things that causes the crickets to stop chirping.
The barn was poorly lit in the dark afternoon, only one of a few interior, bare bulbs which hung from the overhead beams was illuminated. The floor was covered in sawdust which I assumed to have been produced from the many wood working tools and machines that abounded there.
I noted a table saw, band saw, planer, shaper, and drill press among many other tools for fine wood working. All top quality and apparently in good, working condition. A long, wood work bench showed many years of use, its modeled surface covered in loose shavings and pieces of what appeared to be the legs of a rocking chair.
My father and I had come to use a few tools to repair something for the family farm (which in my dream I assume was near by). While we inspected the many machines, waiting perhaps for the owners of this farm to greet us, I noticed my grandmother was staring out the open barn door, perhaps reminiscing about the years she spent with my grandfather who died three years prior. She was seldom present in the moment since his passing, seemingly thinking of something in the past or waiting for something to come.
All at once, every light came on and every power tool came to life at the same moment. The noise was overwhelming and sudden activity startling. I looked at my father who was obviously stunned. My grandmother turned to look back into the barn, but did not seem the least bit startled nor even perplexed.
She walked to the nearest of the tools, the table saw, and reached beneath to switch it off. She shook her head, her lips moving but the words we could not hear for the noise of the remaining machines.
I moved quickly to the power switches of those machines closest to me and switched them off as well, eventually making my way around the barn to them all. My father remained motionless.
Once the room was quiet again, the dust of finely shaven wood suspended between the three of us, I turned to my father who appeared more angry than surprised, as he said, “Kai! Why did you do that?!”
“Turn on the tools. Why did –”
“What? Are you serious? How could I — They all came on at the same time. You saw it happen. It wasn’t me!”
My father started to respond, but at that moment we both heard my grandmother saying, nearly under her breath, “Raymond! Stop it!”
She was just then turning to again face out of the barn, but as she did my father and I both noticed her smile in a way that our elders do when they recall a joke or situation which will stay with them forever. She just shook her head and resumed her patient waiting.
My fear left me then, and I heard my grandfather laugh.