Though recognizing and honoring Gods’ leadings to wait has long challenged me, I hadn’t been able to think of a related story worth telling in “Minding the Light.” Then one morning I woke from two significant dreams.
In the first, I was playing a ball game with another person. Though the ball remained on the floor the whole time, it bounced off the walls of the small room, as in handball. One of us would roll the ball away, and the object for both of us was to then catch the ball after it had begun to bounce off the walls. Whoever caught the ball threw it the next time.
At one point in the game my sensibilities (it that’s the word) changed. I decided that I would no longer run around trying to catch the ball, but rather would stand and wait for it to come to me, knowing that any ball that I was meant to catch would come to me. It wasn’t that I was commanding this to be so, but rather that I was newly recognizing that this was so. I was newly aware that, by my running around trying to anticipate the ball’s route and angle, I wasn’t in a position to receive it easily, as I would be if I simply observed its path and was ready to catch it, if and when it came to me.
Throw after throw after throw I caught the all, and every throw from then on was mine. The ball came to me at some point in every toss, all while my opponent continued to race around, trying to align with the ball’s route. That was the first dream.
In the second dream, I, a non-swimmer, had fallen into a deep body of water, with no one else around. Oddly though, I wasn’t afraid. I had a kickboard, as non-swimmers sometimes use in pools, but didn’t need it. I was calmly upright in the water, as if I were standing in water that only came a bit above my waist. The kickboard was not what was supporting me.
Then I found myself near a kind of dock high above my head. I spotted and grabbed onto a board that extended out from the dock, still above my head but just within my reach. But rather than trying to pull myself up, as the people who had gathered around were urging me to do, I just waited. Then, turning myself at a diagonal to the dock, I simply slipped effortlessly out of the water and onto the dock, through no power of my own. It was clear that changing my orientation to the dock (and to my goal of getting onto solid ground) was key.
Both dreams involved quiet, expectant waiting, followed by a simple knowing of what to do, and culminating with near-effortless solutions. The feeling on awakening, which I return to every time I think of these dreams, was one of complete trust and gentle peace.
—Laurie Hoff Schaad