I used to have a recurring dream about snakes surrounding me. I really hated it. It would start with a feeling of dread because I knew the snakes were about to appear, and then they would, and then the rest of the dream was about my getting away from them.
I’m not sure what it means and I don’t feel like speculating. Freud can keep his opinions to himself.
One night a few years back, I had the dream again and I woke up that morning feeling awful like I always did. I lurched into the kitchen where the boys were already eating breakfast. I asked them how they slept, and the younger boy, about five years old at the time, announced that he’d had a dream about snakes.
I perked up. “Really?” I said. I’d never told him about my dreams.
“Yeah!” he said. “Lots of them. They were everywhere.”
“Wow. Were you scared?”
“NO! Because in the dream, I was a grownup.”
“Ah!” I said, showing my stunning powers of perception. “Then what happened?”
“Well, there was a little girl who was in danger. I ran to her and yelled at her to get behind me. Then I pulled out a big sword!”
“Wow,” I said again.
“And then my whole body had power coming out of it… and I chopped off the heads of the snakes!”
“Wow,” I said once more. (Hey, when I find a word that works for me, I stay with it).
“When I dream of snakes,” I said, “I get scared. Were you scared?”
“NO! I told you, in the dream I was a grown up!”
“Right. I forgot.”
And then he said with a reassuring smile that made him look older than five years:
“And Dad, you’re a grown up too and you can kill the snakes too.”
I don’t know how he did this. It was more than just intuition. I don’t know if he was psychic. And I don’t know how he came up with just the right words to say to me. However, I know that I never had the dream again.
This was back during the days when I still prayed. I remember saying, “I know he’s got the tools but please, please, please could you keep him from becoming a minister?”