Do You Know The Scent Of Dreams?
By Dana Lee
I didn't expect to cry while reading The Scent of Dreams, but I did, several salty times. I found my emotional self activated and affixed to its rich sensuous language, “The leaves of swaying trees tickled the evening vault, and against the river bank, the water swirled ivory and turquoise, catching the light and folding itself over like spun silver.” So many times I reread sentences in the book just to feel them melt in my mouth and drip like sweet honey from my tongue. It just made my brain feel good straight down into my heart, and all the while I could trace the aromas that the author tempted me with. What fun it would be to read this book to others, to your children, or aloud to yourself as I did again and again.
Is happiness just a dream? We all wonder, at any age, are we dreaming? Where did our dreams go? What is happiness? How can we find happiness, and can we sustain it if we do? The recent divisiveness in our country has many people, including me, feeling separated from our dreams, both individually and collectively. Many people, especially children, are yearning to find ways to reconnect with their inner peace, ways to make their dreams come true which were lost for so many reasons, and are looking to adults for guidance. So, this book is most auspicious indeed, and just in time for gift-giving season.
From the very first sentence of this beautifully illustrated book, Sarah Lessire beckoned me gently to follow the story of a girl seeking to find her lost dream and I, along with her, hoped to find my own again as well. Like a tender filament of light hope, I followed the girl as she slipped through the richness of a beautiful dream that promised her lasting happiness, only to be awakened just before the end. This is the first great bewilderment, the harsh reality that she had just missed the delicious end of her dream, where all the answers to happiness await. “Now I was trying hard to see where I was, I forgot where I had come from.” The journey for happiness began amid thick confusion. How like life is this for us all? She loved her dream so much that she wished she had never had it, for want of it again. Like the dual blade of sweet love, it cut both ways. As she was reminded of her dream in snippets of sensual smells, she garnered the courage to embark on a journey through sandy confusion where she encountered many obstacles and a few empathetic souls.
“The idea of following a plan, however thin, was comforting.” I don't know about you, but whenever I feel the bottom falling out of my life I try to concoct a feeble plan of some sort. It makes me feel better and gets me moving again. I had to smile at this, and so much more of the cleverly woven threads in this story. As the girl sets out barefoot amid thick dust to follow the scent of her dreams, which comes in enticing snippets on a fickle breeze, she stumbles upon a mass of people who encourage her to give up her dreamquest and join them on their comforting march in thick shoes to nowhere. She realizes that for her, the only way forward is to trust her senses and keep on her own path alone. As women, we are often afraid of going out alone in search of our dreams. I felt her tender trepidation as the trust of her heart drove her onward over the rough rocks of uncertainty.
She encounters a soulful boy who had a voice that “sounded both new and always known”, and who, unlike the defeatist horde, delights in edifying the essence of who she really is. We've all met people like that, those soul warriors who lift us up with amazing grace just when we loose sight of the horizon of our hopes and to whom we can never repay. Perhaps we've been that person for others. The lesson here is deeply meaningful for us all and no less beautiful. Unconditional love is infinitely powerful and can only come from the verdant fields of an open heart. When the girl encounters the green-eyed boy for the first time, love melts away pain and replaces it with renewed clarity and pure joy, “His eyes seemed to dissolve everything that had ever happened to me.” I am relieved to see our girl begin to walk hand in hand with a compassionate soul, gathering the courage to trust her path again and relish in this sweet respite of divine love. I had to reflect on how may times angels have come to me in my life at just the right time and how grateful I am to these.
There comes a time when she must take the next steps alone, “we had to separate because we could no longer hold hands without loosing our balance." Life often means we have to break ties with those we love in order to keep moving forward towards our dreams. The separation from the boy is sweet, inspiring and meant to be. The girl is learning to trust herself in great measures, and moves forward yet again following her senses, soon to be rewarded with a kaleidoscope of phenomenal wisdom. If you are a yoga lover, you might relate to your quest for postures, for deepening your practice in many ways. I am a 52-year old Ashtanga novice, so I often find inspiration in my teacher's voice and the wisdom of my own aching bones. These words rang true in my ears for not only my life on the mat but my entire life off the mat as well: “you are not really unhappy. You are impatient, and your trust is not infinite enough. . . ever deepening, ever expanding. . . happiness is a fleeting state. It is there and then it is gone.” Wow! It is worth re-reading again and again; I don't care how old you are.
I can't keep letting you in on every secret wisdom in this incredibly beautiful book. You will really have to read it yourself -- a few times. I've left some sparkling nuggets for you to discover on your own. You will, I'm sure, want to read it again and again to your children of any age, and I imagine it being especially powerful at this time in history when so many are seeking to find their way in a world that may at times feel like it is diminishing their dreams. I hope you will find that your dream is alive, like I did, and that you will be inspired to edify those in search of it. I am grateful to the author for her vision, to the illustrator for her artistic rendition which painted beauty before my eyes, and their collaborative courage to bring our dreams to life.
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