I stood in the hollow Dad has made for the barn today as I dumped the compost – including a whole cabbage gone a little blue-gray in it’s fridge time since November – and let myself rest there a bit. I can’t quite picture it – this barn, the people going in and out. At least, I can’t actually see the visual images. I’m just not visual that way.
But I can put words to the dream. The night is cold, a Friday like this one, and someone – John Francis maybe – is on his/her way to play a little show. The barn is clean – brushed free of hay and the dirt that is bigger than particle – and warm with the woodstove blazing. Long, folding tables line one side of the room, and on it are the big metal spoons familiar to me from so many church potlucks.
Picnic tables with pine cones and candles sit around the perimeter, and in the middle, a motley of 50 folding chairs wait for attendees. We’re doing our potluck and barn concert, and we’re sold out.
Below, the goats are penned up, and sometimes, we hear their nickering from the floor. They smell rolls and green bean casserole and brownies. They hope something will fall through the fall to their waiting mouths.
Meander has claimed her rug by the stove, and while it is taking all she has to not jump up or bed from anyone who comes in, she waits to be greeted, having learned the regality of letting her people come to her.
Dad is perched in a rocker beside her, his feet on a low stool, and he’ s smiling and waving. Enjoying the filling of a space. The fleshing up of a dream.
I can imagine this, although the steps to get there – the building, the pouring, the nailing – this I cannot see. It is beyond my mind’s eye and my knowledge altogether. And yet, I know it will happen. And sooner than I think possible probably.
But first, we need to put in a fence for Meander to keep her out of the neighbor’s yard – that’s priority 1, I think. And then, we look to the barn and goat fencing. Then, goats. The woodstove and all those big spoons – I think I can get them donated. Maybe. And the chairs, too. It will come . . . in time . . . with the Whisperers help.
Then, they will come – all these people I have never met. We will eat together and drink good, local wine. We will celebrate our friendship and the life of dreams. We will sing along and disappear into the trails of our own thoughts. We will stay late until the embers of the stove have died down, and Meander has dozed deep enough to dream and let her paws dance by the glow of fire.
When the sky is bright with the stars shining crisp in the winter night, we will roll out sleeping bags or climb the mountain to beds. We will take to the farmhouse couch and the floor. We may even pitch a tent and pull the mummy of the bag over our heads.
Those nights, we will dream. Long, hard, quiet dreams of song that are fresh and also very old. We will sleep perchance to dream, and the Bard of our dreams will lead us onward to home and each other.