Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Book of Me - Dream or Memory?

For many years a recurring dream frequented my sleep.  I haven't had the dream lately but I remember that it was always the same without variation and without much detail.  That I remember it at all is itself amazing because generally when I awake in the morning it's as if I slept a dreamless sleep.

In the dream I am little, maybe 3 or 4 years old.  I am sitting on the side of a bridge facing the road with my back to a large body of water.  Suddenly I fall backwards toward the water, completely losing contact with the bridge.  My breath goes out of me.  I am surprised at the sensation of falling, of being in midair, but I am not fearful.  At the moment when I'm almost out of arm's reach of others on the bridge, strong hands suddenly snatch me back to safety. 

Was it just a dream or was I dreaming a memory?  I don't know.  The only memory I can possibly attach to it is going with my family to Meander Reservoir just west of Mineral Ridge.  For many years during my childhood on an occasional summer evening we took dried bread and fed the fish from the bridge.  I think my father usually took my brother, sister, and me; I can't remember my mom going on these outings.  I don't remember sitting on the bridge overlooking the water nor falling off the bridge.  The thing I take from the dream is that I was saved, that someone loved me enough to grasp me back to family. 

A definite childhood memory is of my father was driving the car and parking in front of a house with an alarmingly steep hill going down from the back of the house.  We visited some very old people, then left.  When I asked my parents about this when I was an adult they couldn't think of a house with a very steep back yard.  They wanted to know where it was but I couldn't tell them because I didn't know the people we visited.  Years later I asked my father's half-sister is she knew of a house like this but she didn't recognize it by my description either.  Then we visited her and she took us on a tour of Stoneboro to show us the places where family had lived.  And there was the house -- with a gentle hill in the back yard!  Size is all about perspective.

This is another post in The Book of Me series, created by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest.  This week's topic was "unexplained memories."


Copyright © 2013, NDM & My Ancestors and Me


  1. HA -- as I was reading about the "steep hill" I already imagined the conclusion. How often I remember a HUGE front yard only to find the house is really practically on the street.

    I have memories too that I question. Are they MY memories or have I created an image in my mind based on stories I've heard over and over?

    1. I know what you mean, Wendy . I wrote a post about second-hand memories discussing just this thing. Sometimes we hear an event retold so often, by different people with different perspectives, that we can put together a better "memory" than any one of them alone. I think it's especially true when we heard the stories when we were children.

      I have a post in progress about how memory and reality sometimes don't match, especially childhood memories. One of these days I'll finish it.

  2. Oh yes! Size is all about perspective. My grandparents lived in a big home on a corner lot, with a lovely front porch. That house was always big to me... until one day about ten years ago when I stopped and took a hard look at it, and it's really actually very small! Imagine my surprise! :) What a strange dream about the bridge. Wouldn't it be interesting to see what hypnosis might bring forth?

    1. I think it IS surprising to learn that what we thought as children isn't always so, especially when it comes to size. I hadn't thought about hypnosis. Thinking about it now, as I'm writing this, I wonder if the dream, too, is one of those things about size. Maybe someone was holding me on the bridge and let me tip back a little and my memory thinks it was a lot. Hmmm. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, Karen.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...