I’m telling you, if you haven’t seen the Cascade mountain range from its east side you are seriously missing out. After an amazing weekend retreat, spent with phenomenal people, we began the long journey home from Metolius, around Mt. Hood instead of through it, as the roads were “ify”. The view was so vast, so gorgeous, you couldn’t help but be in awe of the Creator, the one who formed the mountains, rivers, trees, snow and rolling hills. We felt peace and wonderment as we drove around in what seemed like a painting. The vibe in our car as we rolled back into city life was one of sadness and contemplation. We felt crowded by the buildings and cars. The snow was falling heavily, but somehow in comparison to the dusted evergreens and rolling hills, it didn’t seem right. We could no longer smell pine or feel the force of the wind on our car.
After dropping people at their homes, I started to head for my own. I knew I was tired. I spent every moment this weekend in the presence of great people. I felt energized, open and carefree. I also slept a lot less than normal but I didn’t feel the effect of this until my 4ish hour journey home was coming to a close.
I pulled up to my house, my eyelids heavy and my stomach growling. I sat in the car for a moment. Reminding myself how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place, only a few hours from jaw-dropping wilderness. Then I leaned my head back, fell lightly asleep, and dreamt about, of all things, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The classic fable, except it was snowing out in the forest as Goldilocks wandered around in it. I didn’t think much of it at the time.
After what must have been only a few moments, I hauled myself and my luggage out of the car and into my house. My legs felt tired, my brain mushy. I was hungry. I wandered into the kitchen. What’s there to eat? Old waffles, no…they’re too cold. Those weird little wonton things? No…they were too hot last time I tried them. Aaahhh…red potatoes with rosemary and two fried eggs…just right. After my belly was full, I was hit with a wave of tiredness like I’ve only felt a few times in my life. My body was demanding I sleep, and sleep now. I wandered over to a bench underneath our big front window. I tossed and turned It was way too hard and narrow. I got up and went over to our love seat. I sunk down into it, my feet elevated so high above my head I instantly knew getting out of it would be an exhausting experience. It was way too short. So I walked the shortest distance possible from that couch to our other couch. I’m not sure if you can call it walking. It was more of a slinking, flopping type maneuver. I plopped down. My lovely dog had warmed a spot for me. I stretched out my legs, wrapped myself in a quilt and fell deep into sleep instantly. Just right.
I dreamt again of Goldilocks. It was right then that I realized I had just acted out the fable to a certain extent in real life. This made the dream seem ever more real. I was sleeping there in the perfect bed, all comfortable and full from potatoes and eggs. Blissfully asleep in a house that I’d never seen before. I could feel something ominous coming. In my dream I was remembering the details of the fable. Someone is going to come into the house and I’m going to wake up, scream and run off, never to be heard from again. I was feeling panicked. I could see myself just lying there and couldn’t do a thing to wake myself up!
Just then, some people entered the house. Their faces looked familiar. Some more distinct than others, but I knew for some reason that they were friends whom I’d spent time with over the weekend. The vibe changed. I felt safe and warm. Some of these friends wandered back to the bedroom where I was lying and one person stood out amongst the others, of all people, it was Christ. He walked over to me, sat on the side of my bed put his hand gently on my head and said, “Wake up Haley…you’ve been sleeping for just over 2 hours.” I slowly opened my eyes, saw my friends there, saw Jesus chilling on the edge of the bed, and I said, “I saved my potatoes for you Jesus if you want some.” He smiled and said, “Sounds just right.” Then I woke up.
Really? I woke up? Potatoes!? I’ve got Christ right there and that’s what I say? Oh my gosh. I slowly sat up on my couch, feeling a weird mixture of confusion and amusement. I checked the time. I had been asleep for 2 hours and 14 minutes. Great, awesome, fantastic. Jesus came to me in a dream to tell me how long I’d been sleeping and also for me to tell him he can have my potatoes. Which, in reality was impossible as I’d eaten them all. What the…? I’ve got no theories.
One thing is for sure, I was assured that the kindness I experienced this weekend, was not left behind when I left Metolius. The new connections I made with Christ would also not be left behind. I was changed by it. I’ll take those experiences with me and it will change the way I make decisions and view the world.
Sorry to my friends, I apparently didn’t save any potatoes for you.