"Let me keep my mind on what matters
Which is mostly standing still
And learning to be astonished"

~ Mary Oliver ~

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Time to Dream

Ada Glustein
Creative juices were flowing. Voices and laughter filled the air.  Paints and glue, pipe cleaners and crayons, dreamers of every age and culture were working together to represent their collective dreams.  A Tree of Paradise, a city plan for a Village of Dreams, a Garden of fruit-bearing Dreams, a Welcoming Circle.  Together the impossible became possible! This was the Circle of Dreams day at Frog Hollow, an energizing and hopeful event that captured the imagination of all its participants. 

“Dare to dream!  Dream big and dream bold!”  We were led in a guided imagery that gave us time to be comfortable, time to relax, time to put our worries in a box and shut the lid, at least for the afternoon.  The pathway cleared, it was time to imagine.  “When you are ready to think beyond your everyday dreams, dare to imagine the impossible. Picture yourself in a community of true compassion and caring.  What do you dream?  What do you see? How do you feel?”  With eyes closed and mind open, it struck me that this project is gifting this community by devoting time to dream, time to envision the kind of community that it wants, precious time that so often is filled with automatic tasks, acquiring possessions, or worries and concerns.  No matter how near or far from our present reality, time to dream is a luxury, and yet a necessity.

And then, the fun began!  In small groups, we shared those individual dreams, listening to each other, honouring each other, and recognizing the hopes that we all have in common.  In the group I joined, I heard dreams of laughter, children’s voices, safety and freedom.  A dream of re-connection to historical values of respect and kindness, doing no harm, and a sense of home and trust in community.  “I see all the houses full of light, families connected and cheerful,” said one group member.  “It’s mountainous and green, a place I can fly with my children!” said another. “Every social service is provided,” dreamed another.  “There is unlimited money available!” “A feeling of peace is in my community; it’s somewhere I can say hi to everyone I meet.”  “I see children who are valued and who belong, learning at their elders’ knees respect, honour and integrity.”

There was an infectious excitement in the air, faces smiling with optimism.  “I feel like what we need already exists!” said one participant. “I can feel the unity! All we need to do is put it into practice!”  Yes, in that large community hall, participants in the Dream Circle training showed that the trees, gardens, and villages of compassionate children and caring community are already flourishing in Frog Hollow, not only in their dreams!