Dreaming & Dementia

selective focus photography of tiger swallowtail butterfly perched on lavender flower

Photo by Cindy Gustafson on Pexels.com

In the past couple weeks, I traveled from Odessa to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  One would be hard put to find two more different ecosystems.  Going from the arid Texas desert to Michigan’s Great Lakes was quite an adjustment.  One would be hard pressed to find two greater contrasts in the weather!

I was thinking about this as I took my last walk through our Odessa neighborhood this morning.  Tomorrow, at the crack of dawn, the movers will arrive to move us to Lewisville, and the new adventures that await us there.  The final day of packing has arrived, which I’m sure most of you are familiar with.

The climatic changes over the past couple weeks reminded me of an ancient story from the Taoist tradition.  A man fell asleep, and dreamed about a beautiful butterfly.  The butterfly flew gracefully around the man, occasionally lighting on various flowers to feed.  The man watched the butterfly as he dreamed, enjoying the peace that it brought him.  Eventually, the man awoke, and realized he’d only been dreaming.

An ancient Taoist master told this story to a disciple.  He then asked his disciple a question.  Was the man dreaming about the butterfly?  Or was the butterfly dreaming about the man?

animal beautiful biology bloom

white brown and orange moth
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My sense is  the Taoist Master was asking the man to think outside the box.  So often we think in a “this or that” fashion.  We search for “black or white” answers.  Such thinking blinds us to other possible options. It prevents us from seeing the other beautiful colors.

I believe our nation is stuck in this black and white cycle.  It’s certainly not the first time, and it won’t be the last.  Once again, we must learn from the wisdom of others.  Most of the despots in world history have thought in black and white only.  It has always been the language of tyranny.

But now, its time to fill up some boxes, and, to get on with our move.  New adventures await us in the City of Lewisville.  I will carry with me memories of the sandy old dessert, and many memories of good friends.  As I work, I will be thinking, “Did I dream of y’all or did y’all dream of me?”

Blessings,

Fr Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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