I love photographs. I’ve always loved them. Not so much having my photograph taken, but looking at photos. Moments, and memories captured.
I think I got this from my Grandfather, who would go and retrieve the family albums with excitement each time i would pop over for a visit.
“Who’s this girl?” he would say to me cheekily, as he pointed out old childhood photographs of me.
He would always tell stories too.
He would sit there telling me the same stories each time about how his nickname at school used to be “Blossom”, about the ocean that his home overlooked, that its “ever-changing, and never-changing”.
We would wander up to the “seat of knowledge”, where he would tell us about the local fisherman, and the hang gliders that would glide off the adjacent cliff top at Turrametta Beach. About the light plane that he once watched fall and crash into the ocean, whilst the pilots wife was watching in horror from the grassy headland. So many stories…
When my Grandparents passed, one thing I wanted was the family albums. Those moments captured forever in time.
I hadn’t looked through them for a while, until the other night.
My Grandfather often features heavily in my dreams, (which I will come back to a particular dream in a moment) and I decided to go and grab the photographs out of the cupboard.
As I flipped through the yellowed pages, I couldn’t help but notice the uncanny resemblance between myself and my Aunty, and also my sister and my Grandmother.
And it got me thinking about what my Grandfather says about the ocean.
Are we really as evolved as we would like to believe? Or are we, like my late Grandfather says “Ever changing, and never changing”?
Now in the physical sense, its quite obvious that this is true. We change, yet somehow remain the same. Through generations spanning decades. How else can you explain the similarities that tend to sometimes trickle down through a blood line, creating an almost clone?
In the spiritual sense, however, I think the same elements are at play.
Do you believe in history repeating itself?
Repeating itself, again and again, until the lesson is learned?
Do you follow the signs that the universe sends you? Do you trust your gut? Do you listen to that uncomfortable pull in the pit of your stomach, and follow it blindly to where its meant to lead you?
Or do you just conform, and follow the crowd, unable to connect with what it is that you heart is trying to tell you? Do you follow a rule book that you had no hand in even writing?
Why not question everything? Why not question why the things that happen do? Why the people that come into, and go out of your life do? Why lead a life of complacency, and ultimate defeat? And most importantly, why not pay attention to your dreams?
So here’s where I come back to the dreaming part.
Soon after my Grandfather passed away a few years ago, I dreamt of him one night.
In my dream, my father had told me to go to my Grandparents house, and take what I wanted as a keepsake.
I wandered around the empty house, only there was nothing there to take.
I went back outside, and to my surprise, I saw my Grandfather sitting in a chair in the front garden.
He looked younger and plumper. Like how I remembered him in his 70’s. Not like the frail, forgetful old man he became in his late 80’s when he sadly passed. Speaking of him being forgetful, he often confused me for his daughter in his last days. My Aunty.
Anyway, back to the dream.
“Grandpa! What are you doing here?” I asked him in shock.
“I just wanted to let you know that they’re looking after me where I am, and that I’m happy. And your Grandmother sent me these for you and Brooke (my cousin)”.
He hands me a green sequinned pair of wooden clogs, and a gold pair for Brooke. I remember looking at them in my dream and thinking “where on earth am I supposed to wear these to?”
A few days later, I told my Dad about my dream.
His face went as white as a sheet.
“When your Grandmother passed away (she passed a couple of years before my Grandfather), I went looking through the house for a pair of shoes that she had brought back from a trip to Vietnam. They were a green and gold sequinned pair of wooden clogs, that were intricately carved through the wooden part. I was always intrigued by them as a child, and they were something i wanted. I haven’t seen them since I was about 30, so you have certainly never seen them. And I could never find them. I have no idea where they are.” he told me.
I think I was just as floored as he was.
Later that day, I get a text message from my Aunty. My Dad had phoned her and told her about my dream (which is what I love about my family – they never think I’m kooky or whimsical. They know i have my “little ways”).
“I have those shoes. I was fascinated by them as a child, and so I took them. You know those shoes are magic shoes. I have them up here in Byron Bay with me, and they are yours when I pass.”
So do you believe now in signs? In dreams?
Because I do.
And I don’t care if people think I’m a nut job. Because I’m not. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.
Truth is often times, much stranger than fiction, and I guess this is what makes me the story-teller that I am. Because I do pay attention. My eyes (and heart) are wide open.
I do see the beauty where others may not. I do see the invisible connectedness of everything at play. I see the serendipity in all of lifes’ circumstances. I see the physical memory of our genetics being kept alive through the generations. I pay attention to my dreams. To my hearts desire. I believe in magic. And most importantly, I am myself (even if I do look like a clone of my Aunty Gael).
So today, if you can, I ask you to try to connect with what your dreams (and your heart), are trying to tell you. You may get a surprise and discover that everything is more intrinsically connected and is loaded with more meaning than you ever dreamed possible.