Last night I dreamed about a narrow, rocky shoreline. About a mile long, its end curved out into a point facing out towards the sea. The water was not like ours, up here, in the Pacific Northwest, dark green and grey. It was azure, bright, and clear. As I walked the shore, I walked towards the elemental– cities and roads had ended miles ago, no homes were in sight, just my feet on the beautiful shore, the clear and lapping sea, and animals scurrying in the brush.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve dreamed of “Land’s End”, a place beyond where is familiar and lived. Both times, it was filled with beauty, the sort that quenches your longing so sufficiently, you can’t believe you’ve ever settled to live elsewhere, as well as clarity: The simplicity of the colours—tan rock, cedar and leaf, and the clear aquamarine, that when you look into, it’s hard to recall having ever been frightened by the unknown.
These were the welcome images of the dream, others, were less so- they were more personal, more upsetting- like feeling of doubt, hurt, and fear.
As it happens, I awoke with the latter, and the disquiet that deep, sleep mind unearths. For the first few minutes, I thought only of the negative feelings, and wondered if I should make an appointment for therapy. And, as sometimes magically happens, I entered the therapeutic conversation while still in bed, and strangely began to relax.
It turns out that my dream was a medicine dream, one that contains a drop of nectar that if you focus on it, can transform not only how you perceive the other events in the dream, but transform how they operate in your life. Land’s End emerged as the answer to the questions I would have explored in therapy: “Why doubt? Why hurt? Why fear?” The answer interestingly, was unrelated to doubt, hurt, and fear.
What is Land’s End then?
How far do any of us have to go, in a conversation, in a marriage, and in our healing path, to come to the elemental place that is us? What must be surrendered, killed off, reconciled, and risked? The elemental demands a clear path born from the inside, and over a life, whittles away on the wood of our reluctance until we can’t help but live our soul on the outside.
Why do visit Land’s End only occasionally, when we know we are home every time we visit? Sure, maybe it’s a protected habitat and you’re not allowed to build a cabin there, or you only need a homeopathic drop to remind you before returning to your complex life. Or maybe you finally have had it and you take to the trees, saying “screw it” to the rules and you squat the rest of your life eating berries and fishing. Who knows!
Most important to me, I learned that going to Land’s End is necessary so to not become consumed with doubt, hurt, and fear. The dream said, “walk that shore, don’t know where you are, risk being surprised, keep walking, see everything, and remember that you got here.”