Last night I dreamt that there were secret passageways in the house I grew up in that were suddenly open to me. The bathroom that was "mine", a pea green-and-white tiled monstrosity from the '70s, suddenly had a door in the shower that opened into an entirely different room. I peered into the bathroom, which was dark, and could see that beyond the bathroom that I knew, through a carefully crafted door that looked like a puzzle piece (from all the tile pieces that were a part of the door), there was an expansive shower room. Steaming water--no threat of high temp, the perfect kind of hot--flowed through a ditch in the floor. I could see water falling from the ceiling from a rain shower head. I was astonished. It seemed to me this room had been there the whole time I'd been living in this house, but no one had told me. My mother was there, and seemed nonplussed by it; she'd known about it the whole time. It seemed like a gift, the discovery of the room, but it was a gift I couldn't really use anymore because I didn't live in the house.
There was another secret passageway in our basement (which didn't exist in the house). It was the office of a therapist, a kindly, balding white man who seemed to know me from a young age. After talking with him I came to remember him, and wondered why it is that I hadn't been permitted to spend more time with him, to use him as a therapeutic resource, to have him help me make discoveries about my mental and emotional health, as a child and young woman; why instead had he only been introduced to me as a friend of the family. I could see that the basement had an exit to the street, and was near a park with a playground. My husband appeared in this part of the dream, as well as a good friend of mine, and we all seemed happy to see this man, to reconnect with him, and to finally know the truth of my house, which had heretofore had all these pieces of itself locked and ferreted away, which had, until this time, been holding secrets.
I count myself lucky that my dreams, these days, are less and cryptic and more general. My parents are less active agents in my dreams (and in my life, and I am often thankful for that, too, albeit a bit sad abut it), and the metaphors for the family that I am trying to understand are less hidden, less cryptic: which is good for me, because I've never been great at puzzles.
As I continue to dream this way, I want to tune in to my dreams, to listen carefully. There's so much in the world competing for our attention, and there's a lot our bodies and minds are trying to tell us. I hope for listening, for a better sense of what's coming through, so that if the dream is a guide, and not just a reflection, I'll follow it.