A few days ago, a friend told me the following dream:
I’m in my house and I look out and see a structure made of bales of hay, round at the base and conical but unfinished. The bales are far enough apart at the bottom that someone could wriggle through the space between them. There’s a man taking a picture of it, and I run out, very upset.
When I heard the dream, we weren’t in a situation that was conducive to really getting into some exploration of the symbols, but I’ve been thinking about it, so here it is. Two images came to mind almost immediately. The first, Gallarus Oratory, made of stacked stones without mortar in such a sturdy way that no rain has come in during the hundreds of years it’s been standing. The second image/association comes from the fable of the three pigs: the house made of straw. A structure made of widely spaced hay bales will prove impermanent, and is already open to the weather.
Since my friend is in the early public stages of her career, in my version of the dream I can’t help but project that this new career I’m building feels as tenuous as this hay bale structure, with plenty of wiggle room. In my version of the dream, I’m upset that the photographer is recording this in its incomplete and fragile state.
On the other hand, I know hay bales can be used to build very sturdy and efficient homes when covered with adobe, so maybe I’m storing the bales for a future project that I don’t want to make public just yet.
I’ve used hay in my garden as mulch, so following that association, the upset I feel would be about my public life (recordable by anyone with a camera) intruding on my truly private time, which in this case would be gardening. And gardening itself would represent a grounded, authentic life, one in which I’m unafraid to get my hands dirty and spend time in meditation with the physical world.
When the dreamer told the dream, she Spoonerized “bales of hay” and said “bays of hale” (or “bays of hail”) which could be an indication of strength and good health, or “Cries of ‘Hail’” and therefore a warning of some danger. Either way, attention to the health of my body and the health of my garden is called for.