Today, as I was emptying my old purse into my new one, I came across this worn sketch:

I drew that hastily following a dream I had approximately ten years ago. I remember waking up having never felt so refreshed before in my whole life (or since) and ran into my parents’ bedroom to wake my mum and tell her about my dream. I then went back into my room to hastily draw the image whilst the memory, and the feeling were fresh in my mind.

In my dream I was on a beach. Stood before me were my grandparents, as I remembered them from my childhood – strong, my grandad’s arm around my Nana’s shoulder. I tried to talk to them in my dream, but although they spoke to me too, I could not understand a word they were saying. I was frustrated – even in my dream I knew that both my grandparents were dead. My lovely Nana had died about five years before the dream, whilst Grandad – my hero – had died only months before.

Sensing my frustration, my grandparents beckoned me to look at the scene before them, and me.

Only then did I notice the people walking steadily down the beach to the shore. In the crystal clear, glittering waters, hundreds and hundreds of people were wading through the water, fixated on one point.

The glittering sea was crowned by two green mountains and at their centre was the sun, low in the sky, its setting rays turning the sky around it into an artist’s pallet of pink and coral, gold and orange. Above that though, a dramatic sweep of night sky… filled with thousands of stars, static but others sweeping across the sky like fireworks. At that moment I understood and I knew that the dream was a message, one to comfort and reassure.

This understanding woke me from this dream. I felt exhilarated, happiness like no other, contentment and brimming with energy. My mum, bleary eyed from sleep, listened patiently to my hurried recount and smiled. Mum’s spirituality was unwavering, unlike my own, but even with my new-found understanding, her reassurance that it was a message, was enough for me to carry that scrappy drawing with me, passed from purse to purse, for over ten years.

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