As is usually the case at the beginning of Lent (no doubt because of the fact that I knock off the gargle and thus throw my sleep patterns out of whack), I have been having a series of quite vivid dreams of late.  They seem to fall into two categories.  In the first, I find myself in a public place in a situation of great personal squalor (which I won’t describe).  The action of the dream involves trying to clean myself up and accepting that I’m going to have to do so while people are watching.   In the second group, I find myself trying to finish a discreet episode – a softball season, say, or a semester of school.  Things have started to come unraveled, but in the dream I attempt to square accounts, as it were, and finish up by doing the right thing, although it seems to me that I really don’t much want to.  (Attempt, that is.  In the softball dream, I had to step in and pitch in order to avoid a forfeit.  I was terrible at it.)

It’s my belief that these dreams have something to do with penitence and prayer – acknowledging and atoning for past weaknesses and resolving to do better going forward.  So although they are sometimes unpleasant, overall I take them as a healthy thing.

Then there was the dream I had the night before last:  I was in a stretch limo on the way to a wedding at the White House.  As we tooled along the highway, storm clouds started gathering all around.  I glanced back and saw a tornado coming up behind us.  Looking forward, I saw a long, low causeway stretching out over a body of water, like in the Florida Keys.  Suddenly, the driver stopped the car and said he refused to go out on the bridge in these conditions.  To which I replied something like, “Well, okay, but brace for impact.”   I could hear the twister getting closer and could feel a drop in air pressure.  Then, just when I though we were about to get hit, I saw hundreds of little gray “fingers” brush and swirl around the tops of the windows.  This lasted just for a split second.  Suddenly, the storm was gone and the sky was clear.  And then (if I may borrow a line from one of my favorite blogs) I woke up.  During the time the storm was coming, I remember distinctly being not afraid, but intrigued.  And frankly, I felt a bit flat when it all fizzled out.

What that one meant I don’t know, unless it was the result of too much spicy Eastern Mediterranian lamb at dinner.