The only thing I ever really knew about it was that it was called the “Dream Window” and that it existed somewhere kind of far away, but not impossibly far. But since we lived in the countryside, everything was kind of far away, so this was nothing out of the ordinary. It was sometime about when I was to become a teenager that I first heard about it and I thought about it every day after. I tried to imagine just exactly what a “dream window” was supposed to be. I heard rumors about it, some said they saw into the future, some said they saw their secret love, some said they saw utopia, but I didn’t know what to make of any of that.
It was only after a great deal of subtle disapproval by my father and incredulity by my mother, that the time came in my life when I was able to make the trek from my girlhood home in the countryside to that place that supposedly housed the Dream Window. I had spent all of my life in that countryside, in the peaceful, rolling green hills, always feeling as if there was something more out there for me. There must be something more, something more free and adventurous. There must be places where thoughts were different and life was better. I wanted to follow my instincts, follow my nose, really, out and beyond the boundaries of that last place I could imagine.
The Dream Window is in the second story of a simple stone house in the middle of a village. At one time, an apple orchard stretched out the backdoor of the house to the right and a pumpkin patch to the left. The remnants were mostly gone, replaced by other homes on what became side streets of the small village. There was a line of people that had formed up the narrow steps to enter the room that contained the dream window. The stewardess of the house tried to make small talk with me since I was the last person in line to see the dream window for the day, but I tuned her out. I felt as if somehow my fate was on the line.
It was late in the afternoon when it was finally my turn. I entered the room of The Dream Window. There was a long table with many chairs. I savored the moments before I would let my eyes move toward the window. I looked. All I saw was the same countryside I had traveled from. It was the same rolling green hills as my home, the very same.
“It doesn’t work!” I proclaimed, my disappointment finally clearing enough to find my voice. Then, I heard a chuckle. There was a large, pudgy old woman sitting in the shadows of the room. She said kindly, “Oh, it works alright. Its just ain’t always what people expect to see.”
“But I have dreams! All I see is home! There is no dream in that!”
“Ahh…!” she said with interest, “Nicely done. So often we picture a dream as something outside of ourselves. But sometimes, the real dream is in opening ourselves from within. You, the dreamer, may only see what you call home, but perhaps the dream is really for a shift in the mind and heart. It is not really your home that you see, it is you, finally living as who you really are.”
I was quiet for a long time.
After a while she said, “We often believe that in our life we live Without, and in our dreams we can live With; but really, it is always the other way around.”