This morning's dream (I woke up at 5.15, then fell back asleep) is one that reminds me to pick up re-read Clarissa Pinkola-Estes' "Women who run with the wolves". Even *I* recognised the golden/divine child archetype the moment I woke up.
It was dark, and I was on the top deck of a bus going up the Woodstock Road. My friend (I can't remember who it is now, I knew when I woke up) and her mum were in the seat behind me. I was very, very sleepy - as in 'could barely lift my head off the seat' sleepy, and in that sleepy reality was sure that my friend's mum was driving. As we passed the Oratory, I turned around, noticed it was all lit up and saw a sign in the forecourt. I knew I had to go, and I drowsily asked my friend's mum to drop me off. When the bus didn't stop at the next bus stop, I turned around to ask her why she hadn't dropped me off, then snapped wide awake as I realised. I got off at the next stop and ran back to the O.
I walked into a HUGE reception area that looked more like the front of a school or university. People were sitting, milling around, chatting. There was a makeshift stage in the NE corner, and it was clear they were setting up for mass; but I didn't recognise most of the people there. Above the stage hung a banner proclaiming "Sacred Harvest Festival". I was puzzled, since we've just entered spring (From various cues, it was clear that it was taking place early this week.)
I peered through a set of doors opposite the entrance and saw the Oratory Church I'm familiar with. I sat down with my back towards those doors, facing the stage, joining a friend and beautiful, blonde-haired girl of about 8 in a white cotton dress, with the most gorgeous curls - who seemed oddly familiar and was clearly expecting me. I chatted away with my friend whilst the young girl listened.
Suddenly, Fr Richard came out of the doors leading to the church, looking very tense and closed. He put his hand on the girl's shoulder and announced,
"Due to the absolute insistence of the group saying mass with us, we will be having a girl altar server at mass today. I am terribly sorry."
Then he turned on his heel and walked away, as I tried to absorb what I'd just heard. I looked down at the little one, grinned and hugged her tightly, then turned to my friend and did the same - we both must have had the same look of joyous disbelief on our faces. But then the questions came galloping through my head, "Who is this group, and how powerful are they that they can push the English Oratorians into a corner like that?" "Sacred Harvest Festival? Here? In SPRING?" and so on.
Suddenly, I felt a tug on my sleeve. The girl tilted her head at me - she never spoke out loud, but I always knew what she wanted - and 'asked' where the sacristy was. Realising that everyone seemed to have 'forgotten' to tell her, I said, "No one TOLD you? How passive-aggressive," and walked into church with her, pointing out the sacristy. I was going to go up with her and rake someone over the coals, but she stopped me in the centre of church - halfway up the centre aisle - and shook her head. She then disappeared into the sacristy.
I went back to chat with my friend, and when the bell went for the processional, I again found myself in the centre of church to see the girl in cassock and cotta leading the processional - as thurifer. There was a flower pinned to her cotta, possibly a daff, but it was more lily shaped. I was FURIOUS, certain that someone had pinned it there to mock her, and started to move forward in my anger, but her eyes met mine and she shook her head. The message was clearly, "Leave it, *I'll* take care of it."
Hardly the actions of a real 8-year-old.
I didn't dream about the mass, but I DID dream that I texted "OMG, we had a GIRL altar server this week! SO COOL!" to the two members of community on retreat this week (the ones who, as luck would have it, would be able to stop me from smacking someone) and that I was reporting back on the mass to Asta (also away this week), "She was AMAZING. Absolutely perfect, she was practically MC - she corrected Fr Richard when he made a mistake. Brilliant."
Then I woke up, wondering who she was. I remembered that I dreamt of her almost 2.5 years ago, on a cliffside by the ocean, and she stepped onto a path of red dust along the edge of the cliff that led off into the distance, towards a darkening sky. As the wind freshened, she turned back to me, her curls blowing in her face and kept looking, beckoning me to follow - interestingly, she has never once spoken to me out loud, but she has always communicated clearly.
In that dream, I didn't know whether or not I had.
Having just met her again, I hope I did.