To Dream

You cannot view this unit as you're not logged in yet.


  • Linda Samuels

    “As we settle at home with ourselves, in this season of darkness and quiet, we are invited to pay attention.” I love everything about this. The idea of settling at home with ourselves is the physical and metaphorical “home” I am encouraged to be with.

    As winter approaches, it IS the “season of darkness and quiet.” After an incredibly full fall, I’m looking forward to the winter. It will give me more time to turn in early and experience the quiet that winter, in particular, offers. And when it snows, the quiet is even quieter. I can’t wait! I see soup and banana bread making in the near future.

    Then there is the “we are invited to pay attention.” Being at home, in the dark, quiet ambiance, hearing and feeling what bubbles up will be easier. I’m still formulating plans for 2024. I know there will be releasing, especially of physical things. I’m ready to let things go and lighten up what I’m holding onto. The story is unfolding, and the winter will be the perfect season to find my way.

    • Yota Schneider

      Dear Linda,

      I am happy this one spoke to you. I felt it too, as I was writing it. There is something about the idea of our stories always unfolding, be it under the light of the sun or in the dark of winter … with or without our full participation.

      Being at home with ourselves is a life long journey. I suspect learning what it means to be at home with ourselves is what we seek. Everything else falls into place once we have built this safe harbor for ourselves.

      I know it’s been a busy and fulfilling year for you. I also know that you crave the lull of winter. I am looking forward to meeting you on the “other side” of hibernation and seeing what dreams drew your attention.

      Here’s to the comforts of winter … soup, banana bread, and fuzzy blankets to nest under.

  • Kathleen Ellis

    Linda, I like your image of being better able able to sense what bubbles up from deep within during the winter. I feel the same way. And I also have to admit I’m much more into the comforts and pleasures of winter knowing that I’ll be enjoying 70 degree weather in San Diego in mid-January. I do like winter but in smaller doses. I’m always very happy for the dregs of summer to make way for the cooler weather, and I love the first night under my winter comforter, my own version of burrowing. And there are days when feel like I’m in a movie that takes place in winter–snow falling, people hurrying across streets, lights coming on in houses, the day over and you can sense everyone yearning to be home, or maybe a restaurant where they’re meeting friends for dinner. Getting to the destination seems more urgent in winter. And the relief when you get home and begin the ritual of disposing of layers of coats and gloves and hats, putting on new layers, comfy sweaters and sweatpants, getting the tea ready. While I appreciate getting home on a super hot summer day and enjoying air conditioning, the sense of satisfaction and safety of getting home in the winter is a much deeper experience. Maybe the extremes? Maybe so many childhood memories? The idea of home is so entangled with childhood, and the more I contemplate this idea during the retreat the more I realize the importance of acceptance. What’s the old saying? That wherever you go you bring yourself with you? And I’ll contemplate this more extensively as I’m resting in a chaise lounge in the little yard of our airbnb in San Diego. :}

    • Yota Schneider

      Kathleen, I love your description and feeling of “coming home” ritual in winter. I hadn’t thought of it this way, but as I read your words, I was transported. Coming home at the end of a cold day feels like a warm welcoming hug and completely different than coming home in the summer.
      Yes, I too feel that home is rooted in childhood … the first place to call home … complicated but also our launching pad and the place that shaped us.
      Have a wonderful time in San Diego. I know you’ll love the break from the cold and snow.

  • Sarah Lipscomb

    I’ve never thought of winter as the time for possibilities. The precious hours of sunlight decrease, animals and plants hunker down to protect themselves from the cold, even the sky is gray and sad most days. The darkness creeps in too early and lasts too long. I was afraid of the dark as a kid; scared of all the things lurking that I couldn’t see. Even still, when I was awake with Kamara in the middle of the night when she was a newborn, everything seemed scarier at night. My best friend and I still call them the “nighttime scaries.” Problems seem bigger, anxieties seem more real, things just seem more… dark in the dark.

    But, as time goes on, I’ve learned to cohabitate with the dark and appreciate winter for what it is. The winter allows me to pause, sort of like the world does during this season. Take the time to breathe and get ready for whatever the warmer weather has to offer. The darkness helps me face my fears. The scaries creep in when it’s dark, so it’s the perfect time confront them. Especially since I can’t sleep if I don’t deal with them. So instead of being afraid of the dark, I’m becoming more grateful for it. The time to handle the scaries and make way for what the dark actually does have to offer- sleep and, if I’m lucky, good dreams.

    • Yota Schneider

      Thank you for sharing about the “nighttime scaries.” I am happy to hear that you’ve been making peace with them.

      I have always been afraid of the dark. It wasn’t until I had the girls that I came to appreciate the velvety silence of the darkness.
      I worked in corporate for the first two years of their life, working long hours and living on overdrive.

      The only time I could find to sit down with myself and be quiet was after everyone was asleep, the kitchen was clean, and the house put in order for the next day. I stayed up late, sitting alone in the dark, my feet up, just letting my body settle. I am not sure I could have survived those first years without that break, late at night. Of course that meant that I had to sacrifice sleep. It was a no-win situation. Still I chose that time, sitting quietly, alone, in the dark, listening to the house breathing with me, and feeling secure knowing that my family was peacefully asleep upstairs.
      I did a lot of thinking, reflecting, crying, and figuring things out during that time. To this day, if I happen to wake up in the middle of the night, I often come downstairs and stand by the window to look out and up, into the night sky. It is magical.

      These days, there is a lot that can keep me up at night. It’s in the darkness of night and its quietitude that we can truly listen to what our hearts have been storing throughout the day. What I discovered during my sleepless nights is this … no matter how anxious or fearful I may get, eventually the time comes when I fall asleep, and when I wake up in the morning, I feel refreshed, excited, and grateful to begin anew. Somehow that process of me bearing witness to whatever was lurking in the dark, helped it disolve so I can begin the new day with a more hopeful attitude.

  • Kathleen Lauterbach

    To dream
    To see the world beyond the veil of limitations
    And let possibilities expand in the dark.

    I think I would have to change this last line to “and let possibilities expand in the light.”

    Like Sarah, night dreams for me were and are usually very scary. I wake startled with my heart beating fast and it takes me a while to calm down. I was about 11 when the Cuban Missle Crisis occurred and for weeks I had vivid scary dreams of missiles coming through our picture window and Russian soldiers emerging and invading our house. Night dreams for years were nightmares so I really have never felt that release of the critic in a dream. In most dreams I am either endlessly falling and unable to stop the fall, stuck in some kind of a maze that I can never get out of, or suddenly losing all my teeth. A shrink would have a hay day with my sleeping self!

    My “day” dreams – the cherished aspirations and ideals I envision for myself – occur when I feel safe in an environment. As Kathleen pointed out- so tied to the concept of home we have been exploring. When I was about 11 or 12 I got my own bedroom and here I could day dream the most wonderful life. I was quite the actress in that safe haven and would sing my heart out in the mirror. I accepted many a Grammy and an Oscar in that room for incredible performances.
    When I went to college my sister inherited the room and we’d share it when I’d be home for the summer. I still have fond memories of us buying matching PJ’s and putting on sunglasses and choreographing our version of the song “We are family- I got all my sisters with me”.

    I also became a fashion designer in that dream spot. My first purchase with the money I earned babysitting ( a whopping 50 cents a hour) was a Singer sewing machine. And what did I design – family wear- matching nightgowns for my sisters and I, matching dresses etc. I was ahead of the times! Now matching holiday PJ’S for the whole family are quite the rage.

    My career dreams always flourished when I found the right home – Lewisboro Elementary in South Salem where a principal looked after me like a father and would listen to what I wanted to do and magically find me the materials I needed. He was like a fairy-godfather.
    The University of Colorado where a professor took me under her wing and introduced me to the world of children’s literature. I will never forget going to class in her house where she had converted her basement into a library filled with children’s books. All my homes since have
    Had significant bookshelves for me to nestle in.
    Meadow Pond where I found soulmate colleagues that would dream together with me and create absolute magical moments with kids. I will never forget things like a whole school stretched out on the field eating together at the same time to honor a principal we loved, a whole school doing a flash mob dance for me, and believing in and leading an entire grade level at a camp out to read quietly by the fire for 30 minutes. Everyone with their own book totally absorbed in reading.

    Since retiring I don’t know that I have paid enough attention to my “day” dreams. It is kind of neat though to think of winter as my safe haven to let those dreams percolate. Can you see it now- a bunch of Seniors in matching PJ’s singing “I did it my way!” as they introduce the book they have written about their life!

    • Yota Schneider

      Dear Kathy,

      You sure know how to create a safe nest for you …. books and more books, a space to exercise your creativity, comfortable nooks for you to settle in, and a tribe of like minded, imaginative, creative, fun people to play with.

      I can most certainly see that bunch of Seniors in matching PJs signing and, why not dancing to “I did it my way” and reading their life stories out loud! You’ve always done your way and I love that about you.

      As for your night dreams/nightmares and the terror of seeing missiles and soldiers invading your house … it sounds like PTSD to me. How can it not be, given what you went through as a child. Just because the fear did not materialize, it does not mean that you, as a child, did not believe it to be real.

      Think about the readiness committees and protocols that were formed and implemented in the schools after 9/11 and the school shootings. Now imagine these children as they grow up … they are terrorized and traumatized. I can’t even imagine what their dreams are about.

      Yet, what I love about you is your ability to rise above the darkness, create your own beautiful and safe world to nestle in, and share it with those you love!

  • Kathleen Ellis

    Kathy get the Singer out and start the PJ line! And thanks Sarah for the “nighttime scaries.” You all have described my own night terrors so beautifully. Yes to daydreams and shining a light on our fears!

Leave a Reply