Running Childhood Roads

Last night I ran around a section near my childhood home (a section being a square mile of land).  I parked my car at my former church and warmed up in the silent parking lot.  The sun blazed in my eyes as I huffed and puffed the first mile.  As usual, I wondered why I was torturing myself again.  But I settled into a nice, easy rhythm, and turned the corner onto the next mile road and into the shade.  The humid air sunk in around me, redolent with sweet poplar sap.

How many times have I driven these roads?  First, in the back of Mom’s minivan to and from Grandma’s house, and church.  Then, I’d drive myself to youth group and early morning music practices.  I know them so well, but on foot they are unfamiliar.  Which houses have dogs that might chase?  The roads are silent, and I can hear the slightest crash in the bush.  Probably a deer, or a bird, but what else?

“I’ve become such a city girl,” I lament.

Runkeeper tells me I’ve travelled two miles.  I begin the third side of my square.  The sun has sunk behind the trees, still sweat trickles from the knot of hair on the back of my head.  I look up as I pass by the faded red barn, and the complacent cattle on the corner.  Three miles.  I turn the corner, and can see the ancient evergreens by the church, one mile away.  There are dead garter snakes on the road, and I imagine that they raise their heads and nip at my heels as I go past.  I close the square, and walk back to my car.

As I showered off at Mom and Dad’s place, I realized just how absurd this seemed.  Never, in my childhood years, would I have dreamt about running those gravel paths.  They seemed too far to go, even on a bicycle.

Times, they are a changing.  I contemplate which miles to combine to run a 10K, or even a half marathon, and I smile.  Maybe that is not so impossible after all.

Dinner With Bill Gates (and other bewildering dreams)

Last night I dreamt I was having dinner with Bill Gates and his wife. I have no idea where this came from. I don’t even own a PC.

Not that I’d mind having dinner with the couple. I bet they’re interesting. I’d just have to hide my iPhone. Or better yet, avoid the topic of technology all together.

Vivid dreams are normal for me. I’ve always had them. I can remember a wacky dream I had when I was seven or eight about this lion that was stalking our house and throwing apple-shaped bananas at the window. No joke.

My dreams come in a few different varieties: the adventure type (my favourite) in which I embody a character in a scary or adventurous scenario. There are the ‘searching dreams.’ I hate these. In these I search for something Important, I.e. my keys, my shoes or my swipe-card for work. I can never find it, and I’m always running late. Torture.

I recently dreamt that I was missing my work shoes, and by the time I found them and went onto the production floor, no one was there. They were all in the pool (my work doesn’t have a pool…) and outside there was a thunderstorm, and the rock formations around the building collapsed and blew out the windows and there was dust everywhere so I waded over to the gowning station and put on a dust mask. I mean, obviously a pharmaceutical plant would have dust masks in its pool room.

Oh, and then there are the embarrassing dreams. Usually these involve nudity.

A couple weeks ago I dreamt that I was at my parents house, and decided to streak from the shower to my bedroom. I came sauntering out, in the buck, just as two guests arrived. I greeted them with great dignity, and then dashed into the bathroom to hide. I’d just wrapped myself in a towel when I heard someone clear their throat. I turned, and there was a friend of mine, sitting on the toilet.

Why did they leave the door unlocked, anyway?!

Anyone who interprets dreams would have a heyday on me. What does this mean? I am afraid of being exposed? Afraid of swimming pools? Afraid of losing?

I lose things all the time, so I suppose that’s true.

The upside: my dreams have inspired me more than once. We The Living: an Apocalypse, the novel which I intend to publish mid-year, was inspired by a dream about zombies.

But Bill Gates?

Well, I’ve never had a prophetic dream yet, so I guess my MacBook is safe.