I am old enough to have been a kid before man set foot on the moon and even before television became a commonplace fixture in Australian living rooms. As a small child my view of the world was gleaned from children’s picture books, the occasional glance at a newspaper, teachers and parents.
It was during these early years that I had a dream that has been with my whole life. Every now and then something serves as a catalyst to remind me of it. Helene Valliant’s image prompt is one such catalyst –
Of course my memories of the dream are fragmented now but I can still recall being held in the strong arms of a loving and compassionate presence that carried my child body through the blackest night. As the presence or being ascended higher I saw revolving orbs of the coloured lights spinning in the distance. The being urged me to look back the way we had come. There, far below, I saw a beautiful sphere of greens, blues and ochres. White shapes billowed across its surface. The being then carried me across the blackness so that I could see the mesmerizingly lovely blue green sphere from various angles.
When I awoke the next morning I stumbled into the kitchen in daze. My father and little brothers were already sitting at the table. My mother was fixing breakfast. “I dreamt of weather maps all night,” I told the assembled group for I could think of no other frame of reference to describe my dream other than the weather maps I saw drawn on the back of my father’s newspaper as he held it in front of his face every morning. I can still remember my feeling of confusion when my mother simply said: “That’s nice dear. Now sit down and eat your breakfast.” How could she not know I had experienced something unique? No one else in the family paid me any attention at all so I left to nurse my feelings of wonderment and awe within my own mind.
Years later when I first saw photographs of the Earth from space I had the unshakeable conviction that those photos were of the blue green sphere I had seen in that childhood dream.
If it was a dream. Would the word ‘vision’ be a better description? And what was the being that held me so lovingly? These are questions I will never know the answer to. For reasons totally unknown to me I was gifted with a vision of the Earth from space. Why me and not some other kid? Or do lots of kids have similar visions that they learn to keep away from others who don’t understand?
Of course I have pondered these questions over the years but really, they are immaterial. What matters are my memories of the wondrous beauty I saw on my night time adventure. What matters is the feeling in my heart that our Earth is a beautiful and precious place that must be protected, nurtured and loved.