I had the strangest dream the other night:
For some reason, David and I had been given a huge, mansion-like house. It had a ground floor, three floors of bedrooms, and then an attic.
In the dream, Cassie, David and I set ourselves up on the third floor of bedrooms, lovely, huge rooms with big windows and lots of sunlight and beautiful antique furniture.
Immediately Cassie came to me and asked if her friend Holly could move in. Holly is a single mom with two kids and one on the way.
Dream David and I said, “Of course! Let’s give her the second floor, which should be enough room for her and the kids.” So we did. When she moved in, she found that the entire floor had already been outfitted with a crib and toys and everything a single mom with three kids could need.
As the dream progressed, more and more people began to move into the house: homeless people who needed a helping hand and a job. Strangers who were otherwise alone in life. Kids with problems. Everyone worked together to find a place for people to sleep and for ways to make sure everyone was fed and that all of the chores got done. People who had their own rooms offered to share rooms so more people could come and live in the house.
As we explored the house more, we found that the attic was filled to the rafters with board games of all sorts, and that whoever had owned the house before us had specifically written that we were to let anyone who wanted to play the games at any time. Which, of course, we did.
The weird thing is that while more and more people moved into the house, the house just got bigger and bigger – and nicer and nicer. The downstairs had a state of the art kitchen and a living/dining room straight out of Architecural Digest. The furniture was beautiful, the home spotless.
And it continued to get bigger and bigger and the people continued to come. Oddly, the more people who came, the less David, me and Cassie appeared in the dream.
And then we got a second house.
This house was smaller, and on the other side of town (ironically, it was called The Pittsford House; for some weird reason I remember that.). It was not as nice as the other house; it was decorated all in shag carpeting and bright red and blue colors, and although it looked huge from the outside, inside it was very shabby, dark and small.
One girl moved in there, and she complained about the way it looked, the way it was decorated. She said she didn’t care if it was free or that she would have the entire house to herself. She wanted us to completely redecorate it. So she moved back to the big house and demanded her own room.
Four homeless men agreed to move in. They were so happy that they didn’t have to sleep on the streets that they didn’t care about the shag carpeting. Over time, they tore out the carpeting and cleaned the house … and like the big house, it grew.
And then I woke up.
I’ve been thinking about the dream for two days now. The irony is that for much of the last decade, if it was up to me, my house would be open 24/7 to people. But David is a much more private person. He works hard and home is where he rests, so he’s not much for company. Over the last few years, I’ve taken on his “recluse” mindset and spend much time alone. And happily alone, I might add.
But the dream has been bugging me. The more we gave, the more we got. The less we had, the farther it stretched. The more who were helped, the more they helped others.
There’s a message in there, I think. What does it mean in practicality? … Perhaps I’ve just dreamt the next “Christmas Carol”?