I am a dreamer.
I mean literally. I am the dreamer in my family. My mother and sister rarely have dreams that they can recall the next morning. I, on the other hand, for as long as I can remember dream highly detailed dreams most nights and in the morning can remember them. So much so that it became routine for my big sister to ask me in the mornings: ‘so what did you dream today?’ And I would recount my dream and we would both shake our heads at each other as we tried to understand the puzzles that I dreamt of.
Before I tell you about my most vivid dream, I will tell you a bit about myself to put it in context.
- I am a Muslim. I believe in God. As a Muslim, I do not believe God has a shape or form like you and I, like the animals and plants we see. I believe God is omnipotent, omnipresent. God is as small as the smallest particle yet larger than life itself.
- I am the younger of 2 girls and I am very close to my mother. As a child, I was borderline hyperactive and would run and climb anyone or anything in my way. People, trees, walls, gates. You name it, I would climb it and I would do that all day if left to my own devices. The only times you would find me sitting still would be tucked into my mother’s side as she tried to have an adult conversation or do some work at home. I was a homebody even at that age.
The snippet of a dream that I want to share was dreamt at dawn, sometime in the 5th year of my life.
I am lying still on my side. It feels like I am floating or lying on a cloud. I am in a large crowd of strangers. All dressed in white – all of varying ages, sizes and shapes. All looking towards someone or something somewhere ahead of us. I feel at home despite being in the midst of strangers. No one moves or says anything. Curious to see what everyone is looking at, I sit up and lean forward, craning my neck to see through the heads ahead. My eyes widen and my head spins as I try to figure out what it is I am seeing.
My best description would be a white presence. In front of us is a white mass, like a wall of feathers that ripples and shifts so it has no lasting form. I cannot say it is like a large white balloon, a huge white bird or a massive cloud. As I try to identify this ‘thing’ is, it speaks to me and I know in that instant that I am in the presence of God. I cannot say what He is saying, in what language He is saying it in, whether in fact the voice is a He or She but He is speaking to my very soul. I know this is Him because in this instant, I feel a joy and peace so profound that I immediately pray I can freeze this moment forever.
Even as I pray the moment remains forever, I wake up with a start. I am on the verge of tears as the moment escapes. I mourn that loss for many days after and think about it in quiet moments but the dream has never returned. However, I remember it vividly today as I do in every moment of extreme happiness or sadness. Every birth and death. Every birthday. On my wedding day…
Although my sister heard about most of my dreams through that time, I never shared this one dream.