The Reclamation Project | Part 1 of 2


This morning I had a dream just before waking. The kind I can’t forget. Here it is, with nothing omitted. I have some ideas about it, but first, here’s the dream.

It’s early in the morning. The sun is just beginning to rise. I’m walking up a street on a slight hill. I notice about a dozen vans parked on the street and in an outdoor parking lot. They’re all black, with simple white logos. Each logo is slightly different from the others, and is accompanied by a team name. I’ve been given a task to carry out with one of the teams. I hadn’t realized there were other teams.

I approach my destination, walking toward the building where I’m to meet the team. I hear music playing. It sounds like a jam session. The building is open-air style on the ground floor next to the street, so I can see what’s happening inside. A team of women and men are playing music together. Each seems to be playing a different instrument. I don’t see a formal conductor. Some team members are arriving at the same time I’m getting there.

The room they’re in is next to another building, also open so I can see who’s in it. Right there, up against the wall adjoining the musicians’ building, I see my father. He’s leaning against the wall, sitting, and playing a guitar. In fact, he’s playing along with the other musicians. I never knew he played a guitar! The other musicians can hear him but they can’t see him. He’s much older than they are, and doesn’t see me.

I wonder whether my father knows what he’s doing. He’s not part of the team still gathering next door. Fortunately, he’s picking the guitar softly, trying to connect with the music coming from the next space over. I hear the music coming close to ending. As it does, I already know somehow that the guitar will be the last instrument heard.

So far the music has been similar to jazz improvisation. My father doesn’t know much about jazz. So I’m surprised that as the performance winds down, his guitar playing becomes crystal clear and creative. I can scarcely believe my ears. It’s beautiful. My father never looks up to see me, and I don’t stop to say anything. It’s as though he’s in a different world.

I’m here to meet this team of recently employed workers. I didn’t know they were musicians. That’s not the job they were hired to do. I tell them how beautiful their music is and how much I enjoyed hearing it as I walked up the hill. I can tell they already work well together.

Just then one of my sisters joins the group. I’m surprised and happy to see her. I’m not sure which sister it is. At first I think it’s Sister #2. Then I take another look and think it might be Sister #4.

I explain that I’m here to take the team through the last phase of their orientation. They have one last task before they go out to do their work. Each of them is to write a brief personal statement about how and why you do this work, connecting it with something significant that guides the way you actually do the work.

I already know the nature of their work. They’ll be going through the neighborhood collecting things that have been thrown away. Each of them needs to tell me how and why they do this. For example, they might say, “I work in this way (describe it) because it connects with the way Jesus worked.” I have in mind a reclamation project.

I wake up happy, wondering what this dream is saying about me.

To be continued. . . .

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 25 August 2015
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