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From the PorchBy Amber Nagle
From the PorchBy Amber Nagle

Days later, it’s still with me. It was a good dream — a fun dream — and when I woke up the following morning, I wanted to go back to it and dream it all over again, but that’s not how the dream world works.

From time to time, dreams invite us to sit down and talk to loved ones who’ve crossed over. Other times they force us to experience the pressure of taking a difficult exam in school — one in which we do not know the answers to any of the questions. Sometimes they throw us for a loop and place us in a public setting (like a football game or a Sunday church service), but our subconscious mind puts us there with no clothes on our bodies. We wake up confused and terribly embarrassed.

This past week, the dream world gave me a gift — the gift of flight, to be specific.

In the dream, my husband and I were standing in a long line that wound up a staircase built onto the side of a steep mountain.

“We haven’t done this in a long time,” I said nervously in the dream. “What’s it been? Ten years? Fifteen years?”

“It doesn’t matter. It’s like riding a bike — it’ll come right back to you,” my husband said, squeezing my hand.

We both had brochures in our hands that explained the mystery of the venue. It was one of only ten places on earth where the gravitational force was unusually low, and this missing “pull to earth” allowed humans to experience the sensation of flying.

When we got to the top, the guide said, “Walk to the end of the platform, then begin jogging. As you carefully jog down the hill inside the channel, you’ll start feeling a sense of lift when you get to the red markings on the ground. When you feel almost weightless, propel yourself upward and go. Don’t try to fly too high — 10 or 15 feet at the most — and don’t try to do tricks. Stay in the channel. Fly all the way down the mountain and into town, and then land on the grass somewhere. Don’t try and land on the street, because if you don’t get your footing just right, you can get hurt on the asphalt.”

My husband went first. I watched him take off like an F-15 fighter jet. He floated down the hill as if he was being sucked up into Heaven during the Rapture. I looked at the guide and prepared myself to launch.

“When you get to the town and land, you will still feel like you can fly, but you won’t be able to,” the guide explained. “So don’t do anything crazy, like jump off a building or anything, okay? You may feel the sensation for a couple of hours or a couple of days. That’s normal. Okay, take off when you’re ready.”

I nodded as I stared downward at the channel cut into the mountainside, and then I started trotting — a little faster and a little faster. When I got to the red lines chalked into the grass, I realized that I felt light on my feet. I hurled myself up and forward with all my might, and just like that, I was soaring like a hawk on a breeze. I didn’t have to flap my arms or move my legs or feet to levitate. I just had to concentrate on keeping my body in a horizontal position parallel to the ground beneath me. Two or three minutes later, I landed in the little town at the base of the mountain and started looking for my husband. I found him in an area that had ten or twelve public shower stalls. He had decided to bathe — in public — after his flight, and I found this odd.

Let me re-emphasize that I didn’t find it strange that he and I had both flown down a mountain using nothing but our bodies. In my dream, I found it peculiar that he had opted for the free, end-of-flight shower. It was a crazy dream — as dreams often are. continued from page

Dreams have long captivated the human imagination. As we slumber, our minds venture into a place best described as the Twilight Zone — a place that defies logical constraints. Researchers believe these nocturnal odysseys consolidate and analyze memories and thoughts. Physiologically, dreaming occurs during a period of sleep known as REM (rapid eye movement), which all humans cycle through periodically during the night. Indeed, our brain waves are almost as active during sleeping REM cycles as they are while we are awake! And another interesting fact — our brains conjure up around five dreams each night, though a lot of people don’t remember their dreams and visions.

When I was a little girl, my Grandmother Lanier (Maggie Mae Lanier of Metter) had a wellread book that interpreted dreams. I was as fascinated by the weird explanations her book offered as I was reading my daily horoscope in the newspaper. So what do the experts say my flying dream means? Well, it could represent a sense of liberation, breaking free from limitations or experiencing a newfound sense of independence. I don’t think that applies to me or my life today, but who knows? Maybe my dreams know something I don’t.

What I do know is this: Dreams often leave me bewildered, amused and even a bit shaken. In the curious domain of sleep, as I dreamed of using my body as a vessel of flight, the laws of physics and rational behavior didn’t apply, and it was as fun as a carnival ride. I hope to go flying again real soon.

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