^ My mother was almost six feet tall with curly red hair.
Even as a tiny little girl, if I ever got separated from her, it was easy enough to look up and find her. And that was a very comforting thing about my childhood.
I'm riding on a bus.
An extremely crowded bus with humans packed in like sardines, filling each seat and jamming every inch of the center aisle.
Lucky me, I've somehow scored a seat - an aisle seat near the back - so that as we lurch and heave our way down the streets, stopping here and there to pick up even more passengers, I am able to maintain my equilibrium better than most. I seem to be traveling by myself but I have no idea were I'm going.
Suddenly, the person sitting across the aisle turns to me and speaks in a gentle, confidential tone.
"Your mother is getting on at the next stop."
The words should
stand me up out of my seat,
but I am unmoved. I notice only a calm wave of awareness spreading through me, and I wonder what will happen next.
Soon enough, the bus groans to another stop. I hear the automatic doors whoosh open to let the exiting passengers out the back door, and the newcomers in at the front. The throng of standing travelers pushes toward me as their numbers increase, but I can't see beyond the two or three people wedged in the aisle directly in front of me.
I can't see. But I can listen.
And suddenly, unmistakably, like the ringing of a familiar bell, I hear my mother's voice.
She's talking to a companion, and she's happy. Her voice is upbeat and gay; I can't make out her words but she's clearly having a good time.
Trapped in my seat, I lean this way and that, trying to catch a glimpse of her in the crowd. But I can't.
And then I wake up.
* * * * *
This is the very first dream I've had about my mother since she died, five years ago this week.
I have no idea what this dream means or what I am to take from it.
But it sure was nice to hear her voice.
* * * * *
There are few things as tedious as listening to a friend recount a dream, but if you can trust me when I say this was a good one, here's a story about another dream I once had.