Sunday, February 6, 2011
I dreamed of Africa for the first time since coming home. Only it wasn't a dream it was a nightmare. I rode along the streets of Addis which were lined with orphans. At first they were beautiful and smiling, and I recognized some of them as babies from the Transition Home. I waved and blew kisses.
Maybe the blowing of kisses triggered something in my memory bank, because as dreams sometimes do everything changed. I was no longer seeing sweet faces of babies. At first it was just the boy from the street, and I frantically blew him kisses. (Blowing him kisses with tears marking my cheeks with rivers was the last thing I did for that precious street boy that I now carry in my heart.) And there he was in my dream, but his eyes were hallow and haunted, and his face gaunt, and he clawed for me and screamed for my rescue.
My temples pounded in fear, and I began to panic, and I knew I could do nothing. And as I continued to bump through the dusty streets of Addis the brown faces of babies and children came into view. Only none of them were smiling. Some of them were obviously sick and some mangled and disfigured. All crying and screaming for me to take them home. And it was too much. I buried my face and covered my eyes sobbing and screaming knowing I could do nothing.
Then I awoke and discovered it was just a dream, just a terrible nightmare. My breathing slowed, and I shivered and I awoke my sleeping husband for comfort and soothing whispers. It was just a horrible nightmare I thought as I closed my eyes and begged for sleep to come steal me.
But sleep stayed away as I realized that the little boy on the street in Addis and all those orphans that I held and played with and watched and witnessed on the streets and in the cold orphanages could not wake up. For their nightmare is their reality.
And I again wrestle with how to change, how to live, how to be, now that I know and have seen. How do I do this? How do I fully live and fully remember all those I have left behind?