Have you ever had a recurring dream?

I’ve had a recurring dream, as of late. It’s not precisely the same thing each time it occurs, nor does it recur every night. But over the past few months, I’ve dreamed that I was looking out a window and saw tornadoes dancing along the horizon.

Once, I was in a high rise building that was entirely glass windows looking out over a dense cityscape. This last time, I was in the home of my childhood and just looking at a window that was created in my mind’s eye. Each time I see multiple funnel clouds wreaking havoc in the distance. Each time I think, “I should probably go to the basement… but they’re so far away. They probably won’t even come over all this way. Even if they do, I’ll see them coming in time to take cover.” Then inevitably, they do cut a course in my direction – all three or five of them, like they’re on a mission. And they’re coming fast. Sometimes I am alone, sometimes I’m among others that I may or may not know in real life, but I’m always trying to save someone or something. Most recently, it was cats – my cat, cats from my past, and cats I’ve never known – but most often I’m trying to make sure all the people I’m with are headed for the basement.

I feel the panic of not reaching the basement in time. My mind in my dream reels with the imaginings of what it will look and feel like when the cyclones tear the building to shreds and I’m caught up with it. I feel the worry of ensuring that everyone I love and care about, as well as all the complete strangers, have made it to our safe zone – that we didn’t leave anyone behind. My heart races.

But every time, I reach the basement. Every time, everyone (or everything) is safe and there with me.

Then the dream ends.

It’s such an odd dream to me because I’ve never experienced a tornado. Hurricanes, yes. Windstorms, yes. I’ve even been in the same storm in which a tornado formed, but it was not precisely near me. We always went to the basement if there was a warning, but the most damage I’ve seen done (first hand) is a few missing roof tiles.

When I realized this scenario had been dreamed more than once, I began to wonder if it means something. I don’t put much stock in those books that claim there is a set symbolic definition for everything that may be present in a dream. I more adhere to the idea that dreams are creative projections of our experiences and emotions from the day-to-day. So perhaps I should rephrase: I began to wonder if it represents something.

The interpretation I came up with, after much inner reflection and some googling, was that I have a tendency to procrastinate. I say, “I have so much time to do this!” and then dead lines come up on me faster than I’m prepared for – it’s very stressful. When that happens, I feel quite out of control… even though I began the scenario quite in control. This repeating dream says to me: you should really get your ass in gear and get organized. (Pardon the french.)

Have you ever had a recurring dream?

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