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August 8, 2020

From time to time, I have a recurring dream: I’m traveling abroad somewhere by myself. As I’m walking around an unfamiliar city, I get lost. Really lost. Then I don’t remember where my hotel is – not even the name, so I can’t ask for directions. And I don’t know the whereabouts of my over-the-shoulder bag, my forever bag that never leaves my person that securely contains my valuables, including my hotel key. Also, at some point in my dream, I am frantic to get to the airport because I forget to confirm my departure time.

To the contrary in real life, I am over-the-top organized when I travel. I never lose my over-the-shoulder bag and I arrive at the airport with plenty of time to enjoy a coffee. I haven’t had that dream for many months.

Until the night before last.

I was walking around in what seemed like a nightgown that looked more like a hospital gown. Others in the street were similarly dressed. A dream in the time of Covid, for sure. The colors were bleak. I was lost and couldn’t find my hotel – and didn’t have my over-the-shoulder bag. In the next “scene,” I am magically at my hotel and enter from the back side. I couldn’t remember my room number, so I wandered hall after empty hall. Then I reached the end of a corridor and opened the double doors. On the other side was the main lobby that looked like The Secret Garden. Beautiful green grass was everywhere – the floors, the walls. I was in awe. Then I woke up.

On our way to drop off things at the Salvation Army in Pasadena, I told Jacqueline about the dream. Amused, she said it had a happy ending. When I shared it with Louie later, he said, “You died!”

Was it a coincidence that Louie and I had just watched a trailer for the 2020 remake of the movie, “The Secret Garden”? The storyline is poignant in which the main character, young Mary Lennox, loses her parents to cholera.

My dream made me think wistfully about flying again -- but only when it is safe.

This inspired me to rummage through my “Rolodex” of blissful images I have captured through the years. For a little while, I was lost in another place. Then a thought occurred to me: While we won’t be the carefree travelers we were pre-Covid, some things will remain the same. Like the fiery fall colors in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada); clouds gracing Tequila Mountain in Tequila, Jalisco (Mexico); sunsets at the beach in San Clemente, California; early morning moose sightings at Moosehead Lake in Maine; lakeside villages at the bottom of Mt. Rigi on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland; tranquil fjords in Flom, Norway; England’s Yorkshire countryside as far as the eye can see; medieval cellars-turned boutiques in Bern, Switzerland’s capital; and The Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

My recurring dream came at a curious time. I will take it as a valuable reminder that when we can travel “carefree” again, discovering our world will be more special than ever.


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