Have you ever experienced a recurring dream?
I have one, that comes to me during ragweed season.
I find myself walking and walking in the country.
Trees and plants, woods and fields, hills and dales.
There are people with me, walking and talking, talking and talking, talking of stalking, pointing and gesticulating.
In the dream, I don’t know the time, but I know it’s very early. Too early for all this gesticulating – I can’t even say that word, at this early hour. Hand-waving, then, and sounds like they’re speaking in Latin. Are we monks?? I don’t understand any of it.
Then I hear a voice say clearly “…The F Stop…” and I look around for a bus. But there isn’t any, so we keep walking. I don’t know what time it is, but I know somehow, that it’s early, and we’re rambling in the grayness of Pre-Noon – that horrible, fuzzy zone that exists before lunchtime.
Without looking, I can tell my socks don’t match. One feels like it’s wool, knee-high, and itchy. I don’t own any socks like that.
It’s at that point, the slow dawning horror comes over me, as I become aware, that I’m not dreaming.
I’m actually awake, out and about at this ungodly hour, hiking apparently, and have fallen among some roving cult of naturalists, botanists, forest-bathers, and photographers. Why does this keep happening. Apparently sometime last night, once again, I agreed to an Early Morning Nature Walk. Don’t remember. Don’t remember if anyone thought to give me breakfast first, or brunch, like decent, civilized people. Don’t remember signing on to wander around in the shrubbery and thickets of binomial nomenclature.
But that explains the people in my dream, talking in Latin. And the “F Stops” – the photographer has us straying through sodden “Depths of Field” or suchlike, and my socks are soggy.
Ragweed Season. I don’t sleep well, and I don’t do awake so well, either. I’m stumbling along, coked to the gills on antihistamines, Echinacea, Sudafed, Mucinex. Just let the mosquitoes drink as much of my blood as they want. They try to fly off, but then the Benadryl hits, and they drop from the sky like stones.
Walking at breakfast time. Dogwoods, but no doughnuts, fritillaries, but no frittatas. Someone offers me a handful of Dragon’s Tongues. They’re surprisingly tiny and green. It seems like the dream-state is resuming. But “dragon’s tongues” turns out to be a mixture of grape vine tendrils and the leaves of a flowering mustard plant, they call “wild arugula.” Not bad! The grape tendrils are delicious, kind of lemony. Someone pulls out a thermos and gives me some coffee.
I open my eyes, and it’s a pretty nice day! Nature’s not so bad, really, as long as the plant life includes coffee beans and tea leaves.