Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dreaming of Mountains

Last night I dreamt of mountains again.

I dream of them now and then--enough that I notice and remember when I wake up, even when I can't recall many details. The mountains are always beautiful with great peaks topped with snow, and sometimes there's a lake. There are usually many of them, and most of the time I'm traveling through them. Most of my dreams (that I recall) tie back to some random incident in the previous day, but my mountain dreams don't. They just come. Since the impression they leave is always one of refreshment and a longing for beauty, I've come to take them as a reminder of God, his creation, and what he's doing in my life.

Perhaps I read to much into them. Perhaps I don't read enough. I guess that depends on the analyst. Personally I love how God can use a dream as a reminder of himself.

This morning as I crawled out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen to start breakfast, I relished the fragmented images of vast spaces and fresh beauty. As my brain woke more I remembered that today was that day. That is, the anniversary of Keren's death. The seventh anniversary. I haven't forgotten it, but it hasn't weighed on me this year. It didn't last year, either, and I think part of the reason is that here in Guadalajara we aren't in the dead of winter like it is in Michigan. I love winter and I miss it. I love that the day Keren died the world was covered in fresh snow. But there is no denying that the days are dark and short in a Michigan January, and one is constantly reminded of death. Here in Guadalajara the air is chill to temperate this month, and now and then the scent of spring wafts in, stirring the blood, the heart, and the mind. Life quickens.

So yes, all that to say that death wasn't the first thing on my mind this morning. Instead mountains and beauty were. And for me, that turns my mind to God. As a result, when I did think of Keren this morning it was in the context of God and his work. I was thinking of how he uses dreams of beauty to remind me that he has things in hand, and those mountains of life that we are wending through are not just challenges. Rather they are works of art beyond anything I could ever create.

The mountains and gorge on the north side of Guadalajara don't do justice to the snowcapped peaks in my dreams, but they're definitely beautiful.