My life as a Dream

Last night as I was sleeping I looked and  saw myself in a dream.  I was sitting on a rocky outcropping, privileged to stop and rest for a time in the warmth of the sun.

I felt the sun’s rays on my face and arms and legs, and I realized that the sun was well over into the western sky.  The luxury this stop, this respite in my journey could not last for long.

I looked back and saw the long valley I had crossed, the foothills, the rocks and rubble through which I had climbed to arrive at my present perch.

Far below I could see my children, wandering in the valley, seeking their own paths forward.

“Don’t count on money!” I called down, but my voice was swallowed by time and distance.  “Money is nothing.  We always had enough; we never had enough.  And yet we spent it all and life went on.”

“No, money has no meaning.  Seek the Lord. He will lead your feet into green pastures.  He will make your paths straight.”

They cannot hear me.  They are busy with struggles of their own.  Instead I call heavenward.  “Guard them, guide them, bless them.”

Family is everything. From here it is all I can see.

I look for my husband. Why isn’t he here resting beside me on my sunny spot?  We have walked so far together.

But, in the dark of night I see that on this journey we  each have our own trails, our own trials to surmount.  His is longer, steeper than mine.  He has no outcropping where he can stop and rest.  His body fights against him as he climbs and no one, not even me can make his journey for him.

I look ahead.  Soon I will have to stand up and continue on my way.  I will have to climb down from this spot of height and clarity.  Another valley lies ahead, pleasant at first. But in the distance I can see something I could hardly imagine early in my trip as I made my way toward this high spot.

For the first time, off in the distance I see what must be snow.  It is so white.  But when I look again I see the cold, white fingers of death stretching out toward me.

I have time yet, but I can see the end.  Soon I will stand and climb down off my perch.  I will work my way down into the valley ahead.  The unknown awaits, new adventures, trials, missteps, an growth.  Perhaps I will lose sight for a time of those long white fingers.

But there they are.  Now I know what lies ahead.  I have seen it and I will be ready.

I expect to walk the last steps apace with my husband.

And perhaps my children on reaching their own particular outcropping will look ahead and say, “Look, there goes mom.  She’s nearly to the mountain.  Let’s follow her.

She knows the way.”

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About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States" in Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, and a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico. Karen and her husband traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, spending many summers in the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala . Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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