In September of 2008 I attended a workshop led by Robert Moss. We explored dreams and played in the realm of peering into the future through trance states. In one exercise, we took a group journey to see what we could of 2012. It takes some trust for me to let visions unfold in a situation like this, without second-guessing what I see. It’s a lot like writing that way. After we came back from our visions we reported to the group what we’d seen and subsequently sent them by email to one group member as a record. Here’s some of what I saw:
First I see a big fire in Kansas. There is drought along the Front Range of Colorado. Horsetooth Reservoir near Fort Collins, CO is nearly empty. A big storm hits Laramie, Wyoming, causing flooding. Obama is in office. There’s a focus on solar and wind energy–lots of development.
Clearly not all of it has come true, and those parts that did weren’t hard to predict. Obama’s election was by no means certain in September of 2008, but it seemed likely. And forecasting drought for the Front Range of Colorado in any given year has better than 50-50 odds. The rest seems like I got it wrong, but with the High Park fire recently near Horsetooth Reservoir west of Fort Collins, I had an “aha” when I returned to this prediction and read it instead as a metaphorical experience.
The High Park fire has consumed places I visited frequently in my childhood, transforming them in dramatic ways. The land will recover, since fire is a natural process in forests, but for years to come, the trees will be only blackened trunks. The animals that lived there, if they survived, will have to find new homes until the habitat can regenerate. Fire is the ultimate transformative element, and in that sense carries much the same weight as death as a dream symbol.
Kansas, as a symbol, has a primary association for me as the childhood home of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. In the movie, it is the land of the ordinary, shown in black and white and gray, while the land of Oz is shown in color. Dorothy learns a great deal about herself and about friendship during her travels in Oz, and even though she returns to her childhood home, she’s no longer the child she was when the tornado carried her off. For me, the image in my vision of Kansas burning is a metaphor for my childhood burning away. This summer has seen places of my childhood changing in dramatic ways, not just with the fire but also with the home of a relative being cleared out and prepared to go on the market. When I enter that house now, memories of family holiday dinners bump up against the sadness of inevitable change and the reminder that those days are gone forever except in memory. As the generation above me slips away, I have fewer places to stand where I’m the “child” and more and more have to be present as the adult.
I’m learning a lot about myself and my friends in this process, and the daily dose of wildfire smoke in the air serves as a constant reminder that the only way to go home again is in my imagination.