Morro das Pedras, Santa Catarina Island, Brazil
One of the happiest - and most life-transforming - dreams that I heard in Brazil was a dream of a giant wave.
The dreamer had been working at a job that was well-paid but felt empty. She wanted to leave her job and study to become a therapist, but a crowd of doubts and calculations made her keep putting off a decision. How would she pay her bills? What would her family say?
Then she dreamed she was standing in front of a giant wave that reared up higher than the tall office building in Sao Paulo where she worked. Instead of fearing the wave, or trying to get out of its way, she was filled with joy. She woke with a sense of elation and the deep certainty that if she made her move, all would be well. She left her job, was accepted for a psychology course, and felt life opening up in many rewarding ways.
When she told me this dream, over cafezinho and papaya at the breakfast table, I reflected on our different responses to the theme of the giant wave in our dreams. Some dreamers find themselves fleeing in terror from a great wave. This may reflect the fear of something in life that threatens to overwhelm our understanding or resources. It can also be a window on an event in the outer world; thousands of people dreamed of the tsunamis in the Indian and around Japan before they took place.
As for the Brazilian dreamer, however, a giant wave in a dream - when viewed with satisfaction or joy during and after the scene - may betoken a time of positive change, and mobilize us to move forward decisively in the direction of change. Years ago, I dreamed I was walking with an animal companion, a deer named Bear. We came to a vast expanse of dry land. The land was fertile, but it was thirsty. We stepped out onto the red earth, and I saw a tremendous wall of water racing towards us from my right. With great satisfaction, I turned my back to the wave, and got Bear to turn also, so we were poised to catch the giant wave and ride with it.
I woke with a sense of elation, like the Brazilian dreamer. When I went back inside the dream, by our technique of conscious dream reentry, I found that the wave had swept over the land and rolled back. Now plants - especially papyrus plants, I noticed - were sprouting everywhere. My happiness increased, since papyrus was used in Egypt as writing paper. Before my delighted gaze, the plants now became trees whose fruits were books, new books to be delivered. The dream and its sequel mobilized me to get on with writing a fresh series of books.