“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”
– Rabindranath Tagore
The other night I dreamt that I had to fly a small, 6-passenger float plane. I do not have my pilot’s license in waking life, and the same held true in my dream. I found myself buckled into the pilot’s seat with no clue as to how to fly.
In the dream, I had the responsibility of taking off with a plane load of passengers. The tails of the floats were riding extremely low in the water; we had a maximum load. Sitting in the pilot’s seat, I relied on my prior experience as a passenger and lowered the flaps, adjusted the choke, “cleared” the dock, and then pulled back hard on the yoke.
In the dream, I was surprised that I acted with such confidence in my capability to fly and that the plane responded perfectly to whatever I did to the instrument panel, the flaps, and the yoke. Miraculously, the plane’s floats separated themselves from the surface tension of the water, and we were safely in flight. It was then that I turned to my passenger in the co-pilot seat and said, “The easy part is taking off. The tricky part will be when it comes time for us to land.”
I woke up and thought about how much of my dream applies to life – how sometimes we are afraid to fly because of our perceived outcomes regarding the inevitable landing. With that perfect clarity that only dreams can deliver, it occurred to me that I would like to fly without thought of the inevitable landing.
Virginia Woolf wrote, “Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.” My experiences have grown me and my dreams have inspired me to step into each day with some form — some resemblance — of my life’s vision. I rarely check the flight roster for the day’s destination. Instead, I pull back hard on the throttle and marvel at how wonderfully the plane responds to the thermals that provide air buoyancy.
Every day. I feel so fortunate that I am alive and that I have the opportunity to laugh and love and live. I may not know the particulars on how to land, but I have somehow managed to maintain sufficient aerodynamics that keep me in the air. It all feels like an enormous miracle. For this, I feel extraordinarily appreciative of the creativity, the generosity, the kindness, the love in my life that inspires me. I feel so blessed.