Waseca County Pioneer 111 W. Elm Ave.

Waseca, MN (507) 837-6767


A lot to be curious about

Dreams are really strange.
Maybe it was because of the storms the other night, but I had a dream in which I was in a house–not my own or any I’ve ever lived in–and as I moved from room to room, water would come flooding in the windows, almost as if the house were floating on the ocean and tipping.
Back in my younger years, I read a number of books about dreams and dream interpretation, but even as a college student it seemed evident to me the people writing those books lived in a less practical world than I do. They also remembered their dreams better–I’m lucky to recall there was a flowery meadow, but forget about what type of flowers they were or what breed of butterflies were flying nearby.
But I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised dreams are strange when sleep is also a rather mystical thing. I think of times when I feel dead tired, then lay down in bed and can’t go to sleep. Or other times when I will begin a thought, drift off, and wake up hours later with the thought still in my head.
Whatever goes on, there’s no denying it’s important. It’s recommended that adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Research also shows you can’t effectively “make up” for sleep missed one night by getting extra sleep the next. 
Usually at least four times a night, we enter rapid eye movement or REM sleep. That’s when we dream. Online sources say REM sleep typically begins about 90 minutes after we fall asleep. That first round of dreams lasts about 10 minutes. After that, each subsequent round is longer, often lasting up to an hour.
Interestingly, researchers have discovered people do dream during non-REM cycles, but the dreams are less vivid. Perhaps more importantly, researchers believe we process our emotions and organize our memories during REM sleep. One site claims our brain makes decisions about what learning to strengthen, what learning to simply maintain, and even what to forget.
Me, the only dreams I remember after waking up are the really weird ones–and usually only for a short time.  But then, sometimes, I will see something, hear something or experience a moment when I get this feeling of deja vu. That strange feeling “I’ve done this before”--when I’m certain I haven’t–sometimes makes me wonder whether it previously happened in a dream.
Then, of course, there are the people who are certain their dreams have foretold something. I’m betting for most of us, that’s a rare experience. This leads me to think of the two or three times in my life when I met someone for the first time, but felt a surreal connection that implied I already knew him or her.
It’s easy to find scads of people who claim to know all about these mysterious elements in our lives–that we’ve had previous lifetimes, or that we have spirit guides orchestrating things for us.
I’ve done enough reading on those topics to decide I won’t find any real answers; for one thing, many of the people who claim to the know the most provide answers which contradict each other.
At this stage in my life, I’ve decided my best approach is to be “curious but not judgmental.” I love to hear the stories and impressions people have to share, but I don’t claim to know any answers.
Here’s one for you: A gentleman I met named Gene, who is in his nineties, tells a childhood story of having lived on a farm near Watertown, about 45 miles from Minneapolis. At one point, the family made the decision to move to Minneapolis; as they left the farm behind, they left their dog for the new tenants. After all, Mimsy was a farm dog; what would she do in the big city?
A few weeks later on a hot summer night–remember, this was in the days before air conditioning–the four children of the family were sleeping on the screened-in porch of their new house because it was too warm to sleep in their upstairs bedrooms.
In the quiet of the night they heard a whine. Guess who had found them? Somehow, without ever having been to the house, Mimsy had come 45 miles across unknown territories and unfamiliar settings, and arrived at their doorstep.
How can that possibly be accounted for?
Gene’s story, and many others regarding many other types of mysteries, make it clear there is a lot in our world to be curious about. And that only in the great beyond that follows our journey on the temporal plane do we have any hope of knowing the answers. So I don’t look for the answers any more–I simply enjoy the mystery and wonder.
Sweet dreams, everyone!


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