Dreams are often just getting rid of accumulated mental junk. Then others are clearly important—sometimes something just isn’t right, or we are learning lessons. But especially interesting are the recurring dreams—and how easily we can forget we have them.
If you’d asked me yesterday if I ever dreamed about mountains, I’d probably have said no. Now that I think about it, I remember one I used to have, years ago, over and over. I would dream that I had climbed a mountain, impossibly high—50,000 feet or so (Mt. Everest is only 29,029 ft.)—and that while I had no problem hiking up, I was frozen with fear looking down (even though I’m not afraid of heights) and could only cling to the mountain, immobile, until I woke.
But today I woke and realized I have had another one more recently, over and over, though not for a while now. In this dream, a very nice dream, I return to a favorite climb (not an actual one) up an unnamed mountain. The trail head location is a composite of a line of houses in Ithaca (where I did my undergraduate work) along a hill (greatly exaggerated in the dream—an hour drive-!), and just out of town, there’s a meadow similar to one near where I live now, with similarities (in the dream) too to the Thendara parking area where I frequently access John Brown’s Tract in the Adirondacks.
I have hiked this dream mountain so often that I know the trail well, including with some favorite parts, like a steep part that climbs up tree roots and rock like a spiral staircase. Almost near the top, there’s a village with several stone buildings, including one large mall-like one, the main building, which always has several people milling about. If you climb to the roof, you can see farther up the mountain in the distance a row of monasteries, many of them, in Himalayan style. Thinking about this now, I don’t think I’ve ever climbed up to them. Then along the mountain’s ridge, there’s a scenic trail that goes on and on and on; I’ve hiked portions of this one.
Today, though, I realized a path that breaks off to the left near the beginning of the climb is actually a trail to another summit, “Bright Mountain” (another dream mountain). I saw a map of it—a cool 3D view from a flat “you are here” type information map, with two trails neatly laid out against the green of the mountain (yup—this dream was in color), one shorter going straight up a steeper path, the other meandering around the mountainside. The summit is open with clear views on all sides, higher than Mt. Marcy (New York’s tallest peak) for some technical dream-reason I don’t recall. But I would set out on this route for a beautiful hike.
That was my dream last night—I’m on my way up “Bright Mountain.” I’m thinking that can only mean good things. But I’m also reminded of just how much is buried inside our heads and psyches, and how helpful getting into the wilderness is for letting that clutter clear so we can peer inside.
And I’m wondering why/how I always missed Bright Mountain before. But no matter. Everything in its proper time, I guess.
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October 2012 is a series of daily posts about “A Wilderness Hike,” taking readers through the healing of wilderness experience and glimpses of my work at Kwan Yin Healing and of my book, “Getting Unstuck.”
You can read the series from the start via the links here:
Oct. 1: A Wilderness Hike
Oct. 2: The Sixth Hour
Oct. 3: Snowy Mountain
Oct. 4: Letting Go of Baggage–the Wilderness Way
Oct. 5: “Bear” the Thought
Oct. 6: Mountain. Buddha. Impermanence.
Oct. 7: The Rewards of Rain
Oct. 8: Finding the Keys
Oct. 9: “I’d love to, but times are bad.”
Oct. 10: Attracting the Law of Attraction
Oct. 11: We are not our thoughts
Oct. 12: Honesty, Forgiveness, Healing
Oct. 13: Getting Unstuck: Feeling Overwhelmed
Oct. 14: Money is remarkably easy to come by, if that’s all you want.
Oct. 15: To be Time Rich, Learn to Be
Oct. 16: Changing Thoughts for Changing Work
Oct. 17: Finding and Sharing your Gifts
Oct. 18: Do you want to be the boss? Be sure you want to run the show.
Oct. 19: Finding jobs within jobs
Oct. 20: Bright Mountain Dream
Oct. 21: Escape the Wilderness of Addictions
Oct. 22: The Importance of Spiritual Direction
Oct. 23: In Search of Enlightenment
Oct. 24: Relationship Thoughts from the Wilderness
Oct. 25: We learn in realtionships
Oct. 26: Chrysalis
Oct. 27: Self-Healing, part 1
Oct. 28: Self-Healing, part 2: Time for a new perspective
Oct. 29: Dix Mountain
Oct. 30: The Mist-Filled Path
Oct. 31: From Wilderness to Wondrousness