I just woke up from an almost impossibly happy dream.
It took place in my childhood backyard (albeit expanded to hold the scene), and it was simple, as simple as can be, without plot, or storyline, or framework. All it was, was a reunion of people I’ve known, an endless stream of happy, laughing, delighted people from my past, streaming in groups through the open glass doors from the living room out into the backyard. Most of them were from my high school, with Matt Kuchinsky’s laugh echoing above them all, plus a number from elementary school besides, and even a cadre of my older brother’s friends from before he moved away to England, eleven years ago. There may have been hundreds of people, many of whom I don’t even remember their names, stepping out of my house’s glass doors and into the backyard to the joyous cheers of others who knew them, sitting down in the grass and conversing, laughing, grinning from ear to ear, most people dressed their best in suits and long, colourful dresses. High school social groups (to which I didn’t think I belonged), people I entered into French Immersion with when I was twelve, people whose faces were welcome but with whom I couldn’t recall ever having a good conversation.
If there was any exclusivity to this reunion, it may have been that they had to be people I might now consider obscure – not individuals from my seven years at university, but all of them from times before all that. This wasn’t a gathering of the people who mean the MOST to me – indeed, were that the case, there were many conspicuous absences (though my mother WAS there, with a few remarks just undercutting enough to make me chuckle), but instead, a gathering almost entirely of people I haven’t seen in years, many in over a decade, still flaunting their personalities somehow, Kieran Watson still sheepish-but-charming, Aisha with a dazzling grin, my brother’s friends still somehow a foot taller than I, still moving together like a friendly wolf-pack. And The Reunion made no pretence of being anything other than what it was – it told me it was a dream, it shouted its dreamness to me, and just asked that I accept it and embrace it. If I looked in one direction and then turned back, the landscape of people changed. In the middle of it all, I found myself occasionally trying to think of someone obscure, then of course found them in the crowd, OF COURSE they were here, smiles all around.
The sky itself was an undulating shift of colours, though mostly blue. As it turned a beautiful, luminous wave of greens, I knew the gathering neared its end. I turned to Emily Lomas – again, someone I haven’t seen in I don’t know how long – and offered a hug, but she and a number of other ladies were now in tall, layered, green dresses fit for royalty at a ball, dressed up to leave. She mentioned something about how the dress would poke at her, and when I turned back, the rest of the backyard had emptied, and the sky was a deep, bright green, and I knew it was over. I opened my eyes.
I know dreams don’t necessarily have meanings, that they are often a connection of whatever we were thinking of last before we slept, synapses firing and connecting almost at random to form something the brain tries to collect and cohere, but…
But this felt like something, The Reunion itself, perhaps, was trying to tell me something. Or show me something. Or perhaps just reassure me that for all that I’ve forgotten, there exists a monument to old tribes, an endless stream of so very many happy, lovely, wonderful echoes of individuals sitting in a grassy backyard somewhere in the back of my brain, laughing and chatting and cheering, unforgotten, delighted to be there, having the best time of their lives.
And why were they all so happy?
Why was it all so happy?