I recently heard a dream in which the last image was a decorative pin the dreamer had made with seed beads sewn onto leather. Because of the work we’d done on earlier parts of the dream, she had the realization that the seeds were the experiences she’s had in life, that everything she’d known was metaphorically sewn to her skin. Out of the seeds grows beauty. Some of the ways I project beauty onto the dreamer of this dream are in her great wisdom, and her ability to live her life with an open heart, despite the profound endurance she’s had to show in grueling circumstances. The images of those seed beads stayed with me.

A couple of weeks later, I had a dream that opened with this scene:

Dream Garden by Laura K Deal
Photo by Laura K Deal

I’m talking with someone about casting seeds—the other person says I should cast my seeds far and wide so the one person who needs that seed will get it. I am moved, recognizing I need and have received such metaphorical seeds from others. I am with other people who have had no luck getting the seeds out of the pods. I put the pods in a cup of water and shake the pods. The seeds start coming out and into the cup and I am weeping as I fling them, moved by the idea that they’ll go and one may find its home, and moved also by gratitude for others who have gone before and cast seeds that I have found when I needed them. I’m flinging them over my front garden. I fling a handful of dirt at the end.

The final image of the dream was: I notice my right hand is stained woad blue, irregular and dull, some dark, unevenly stained like I’ve been processing grapes.

At the time of the dream, I was working on publicity for my upcoming workshop. I immediately saw the seeds in the dream as the various announcements I’d been putting out into the world. The dream convinced me to go ahead with it, even though I had only one person signed up at that point. I ended up with nine people at the workshop, a perfect size and a delightful group of people who were drawn to play in, and with, their creativity. We had a wonderful time and several people produced work they hadn’t expected.

Of course, seeds can represent many things; the seed of an idea, the literal seed of a plant, the seed of new animal life. In my dream, I see most clearly the meaning of offering my teaching to the world, but I don’t limit that understanding to my workshops. Teaching is simply sharing what I know, in any way I can. I hope that this blog reaches those who need it, and I hope my fiction writing touches readers who will find in my stories some “aha” moments of understanding themselves.

When I write fiction, the sensation is one of listening for the story, of showing up at the keyboard or notebook and allowing the story to flow through me. By showing up every day, I’ve developed the ability to jump into the story where I left off, even if I’m interrupted frequently during my work time. Just like people who begin to keep dream journals often discover that their dreams become more vivid and memorable, I have found that by offering my attention to the stories, the stories respond by coming through more easily. I hadn’t been thinking about that with the woad-blue hand, but when I worked the dream with a friend, he projected the association of woad with Celtic warriors, who, in his words, “Just had to show up for the battle to be won.” As I thought about that, I remembered what I know and often forget—that the true work is the showing up, and I should cast my work widely and let the seeds fall where they may. I might never know who will find them useful, but I owe it to the world to cast them.


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1 thought on “Seeds in Dreams”

  1. Words of woad…love that word and the words of inspiration here. Just showing up. I often forget that’s work begun and also half done! I love the images of seeds. It is so powerful that there is likely no way to capture all the subtleties of the metaphor that are being “flung” about in the dream. I also needed a reminder that creativity will be there when you just show up. I am grateful for this wisdom.

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