My seven year old came up to me today and asked, in the straight, intent way he generally springs such surprises, "Is our life God's dream?"
It was a penny dropping in the slot moment for me because that is what I've low-key been realising all my life. Think back to the events of your life and you can discern an underlying phantasmagorical quality to it all - "like twinkling stars, figments seen with an eye disease, the flickering light of a butter lamp, magical illusions, dew, bubbles, dreams, lightning, and clouds." This whole life a blip, a gift, a coin flip.
I feel this especially whenever I visit the side of town I grew up in during my teenage years. I see the landmarks around the roads I travelled that used to be my playground. I see the house in the woods, the lake nearby, reached by a winding road by the side of a deep gorge - and I have the whimsical fancy that if I were to go down there and slip through the door as of yore, perhaps I would find them all just as they were then - mother, father, brother, sister.
Scenes and experiences that we lived through - nothing but the shape of a memory now. A dream. The only unchanging factor is the part of us that watches everything come and go in profound awareness. When we attach to certain parts of the kaleidoscopic dream, there is nostalgia, suffering, loss. But when we identify with the simple awareness that has always held, allowed and witnessed everything, and always will, there's comfort in knowing that no matter what comes and goes, we'll still be in here, watching. There's also unbearable poignancy in the realisation that there's nothing here to have and to hold, but only to feel and to be, and to love and to serve, as whatever unfolds in life passes for an exquisite moment over our horizon.