earthquake dreams and an escape to monterey

Saturday, October 12:  So, what explains my dream of last night, the dream where I looked out the window of my ranch-style house to see the earth convulsing violently back and forth?  Inside the house, I didn’t feel the earthquake.  But.  I knew it was an earthquake nonetheless.

Out the window, after the earthquake, I saw the red rock on which our foundation was built had fallen away, and we were surrounded by sheer drop-offs into deep terra-cotta canyons.  Under half the house, the rock had sheared off, so the house was balanced precariously at the top of the cliff.  Out the window, I could see orange, yellow and green-colored houses and red rooftops and somehow I thought we were in Lisbon, but no, despite the colors of the houses, it was insistently San Francisco.   Sarah, my now 29-year-old daughter, was only a small girl, maybe 5 or 6.  She didn’t seem particularly unnerved by the earthquake.  Mike was cool-headed as always.  It was just the three of us, a cobbled-together family.

Urgent radio messages told us to evacuate, to leave the San Francisco Bay area in the next 30 minutes.  I couldn’t make the simplest decisions about what to take.  I was afraid to move around in the house for fear it would topple off the cliff.  We decided we would stick it out, rather than be trapped in huge traffic jams trying to flee the city.

Nothing was resolved, but when I woke up, it took me a long while to realize that it never happened, that it was all a dream.

Click on any of the images below for a full-sized slideshow of the rainy Waynesboro 2013 Fall Foliage Festival.

So what would Freud say?  What is the meaning of this dream?  Was it that I just left Lisbon at the end of July, and while there I kept hearing of the 1755 earthquake that razed much of the city and surrounds?  Was it that my son just left San Francisco on Saturday morning and headed to LA, where he’s trying to find his passion?  Was it the fact that I hate my new job, teaching mostly Saudi students who are immature, lazy, entitled and out of control?  Was it the fact that I caught almost half of my class cheating last week and after telling them of my suspicions, they went in mass to complain about me (typical behavior in the Gulf)?  Was it the fear I’ve felt over the last two months that I might have cancer, followed by relief when I heard this week that I just have pre-cancerous cells which must be removed next Friday?  Was it that I just bought a ticket to California for early January, to visit a friend near San Francisco and my sister and another friend near L.A.?   Was it the fact that I’m struggling with family issues, especially regarding my children, who are struggling themselves?

peak in George Washington National Forest
peak in George Washington National Forest

I think dreams tell everything that is happening in our lives, in one fell swoop, thrown together in one indecipherable mishmash.  Maybe there is no meaning.  But maybe the meaning is that it’s time for a change.  Even the leaves know this.

Fall foliage in Monterey, Virginia
Fall foliage in Monterey, Virginia

I have to give this a lot of thought, because I can’t live a life where I’m paid peanuts to give up every waking minute to a job I hate.  I just can’t do it.  I’ll go off the deep end, or I’ll just give myself over to falling off that cliff.  Maybe that’s why in the dream, I’m wracked with indecision, and why I’m incapable of moving in any direction.

Click on any picture below to see pictures of Monterey’s Hands & Harvest Fall Foliage Festival.

“Fate is how your life unfolds when you let fear determine your choices. A path of destiny reveals itself to you, however, when you confront your fear and make conscious choices.”

– Caroline Myss

I’m shaken by this dream, and by my week, but I’ve made a plan to visit Annette Naber of The Beauty Along the Road for 3 days out of my 4-day Columbus Day holiday.  She lives in Highland County, almost to the West Virginia border, about an hour west of Staunton.  It’s an escape I’ve been looking forward to.  So I leave at about 10:00 this morning and by 1:00, I’m sitting across from Annette at Stone Soup in Waynesboro, where we have lunch, visit the little Fall Foliage Festival in the drizzle, and then drive together over the mountains to her home.

rainbow
rainbow

It’s a rainy day in Waynesboro.  In Monterey, the rain tapers off a bit, leaving wisps of clouds nestled in the folds of mountains.  I even catch sight of a faded rainbow, promising hope, and tranquility.

rainbow Monterey
rainbow in Monterey
Monterey mountains
Monterey mountains

Your ability to get what you want is entirely dependent on your ability to recognize it — so ask yourself some tough questions and see where the answers lead. Life doesn’t have to be the same forever! ~ Scorpio’s horoscope for today.

Fall foliage in Montery
Fall foliage in Montery
some leaves are already gone
some leaves are already gone
rolling hills
rolling hills

A much-needed retreat.  I give thanks from the bottom of my heart to Annette and her husband Dan for inviting me to their home for a lovely escape from the drudgery of my life.

Fall in Monterey
Fall in Monterey
little pretties
little pretties
cloudy day
cloudy day
grasses and clouds
grasses and clouds
hay bales and a blanket of sunlight
hay bales and a blanket of sunlight
a tree of many branches > infinite possibilities?
a tree of many branches > infinite possibilities?
bright fall foliage
bright fall foliage
red leaves
red leaves
oak leaves
oak leaves
pines
pines
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26 thoughts on “earthquake dreams and an escape to monterey

  1. I love Monterey!! We’ve been going to the Maple Festival the last couple of years….Buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup and Maple Doughnuts!! They have a great crafts fair and love to visit the Sugar Camps!! I know the syrup isn’t running now but see if they have tours…and get a Maple doughnut!!

    1. I heard the Maple Festival is great, Louise. Maybe I’ll have to go to that in March myself. Buckwheat pancakes! Yum! I’d love to visit the Sugar Camps too. And a maple doughnut; you’re making my mouth water! 🙂

  2. It can be even more unsettling ‘coming home’, you know – a certain type of culture shock we never seem to be prepared for. Keep taking beautiful photographs and exploring your home through new eyes – it’s sure to provide a balm, or at least eventually to ground you – oh, and keep on smiling! 🙂

  3. Your writing is so wonderful. I think a novel is there waiting to be written, and it would give pleasure to many I’m sure.
    I do hope you find the peace you are looking for.
    Next week I am off to Nizwa, Oman, for a couple of months Arabic language study. I am looking forward to visiting the places you talked about in your blog.

    1. Thank you so much, Irene, for your kind and encouraging words. I would love to finish editing the novel I’ve already written, or write a personal memoir of my three years abroad. I have lots of ideas, but absolutely no time, as long as I keep this teaching schedule. I’ve got to rearrange my priorities.

      Where will you be studying in Nizwa? You must go to Jebel Akhdar for sure. Let me know and I’ll put you in touch with my friend Kathy. 🙂

      1. Hi Cathy. I’m going to study at the Sultan Qaboos College for the Teaching of Arabic to Non-Native Speakers. A bit of a mouthful! The College has been open for only a couple of years. It is in Manah province near Nizwa.
        I hear that there is not a lot to do in the area but you certainly had some wonderful weekends.
        I will be there for two months. I am hoping my Arabic language will improve. If it doesn’t, it will still be an adventure. I am in my sixties and I’m really looking forward to challenging myself.

      2. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time there, Irene. Manah is not far from Nizwa at all. There’s actually a lot to do in that area especially if you can get access to a four-wheel drive and go and explore Jebel Akhdar. 🙂

  4. Hi Cathy, How wonderful to see your Fall images, the leaves, cloud, pumpkins … when here we are surrounded by spring flowers still … I understand how unsettling your dream is, but don’t worry, its message will come clear in little bits and pieces, maybe even a feeling of what needs doing, or which direction to take to get solid ground under yourself again … thanks for the beauty of this post 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Christine. I hope you’re right about the message of my dream. I hope something will become clear for me as to how I can change my life. Thanks so much for your kind comments. 🙂

  5. Firstly congratulations on being PRE (that’s a biggy) Enjoy getting rid of the little buggers. Secondly when home doesn’t feel quite like home it’s most discombobulating. I know. I seem to go into a fug here whereas anywhere else I am/try to be the life and soul. For me, I know it’s all wrapped up in an age thing (not because I’m mourning) just because.

    I could write so much more but Good, good luck and keep writing
    xxx

    1. Yes, mrs. carmichael, it is disorienting when home doesn’t feel like home. I guess it does now, but that still doesn’t cure my wanderlust. I feel that I must be home now to sort out my family, but believe me, I am pulled away, away. I don’t think that will ever end. 🙂

  6. Everyone in the world who knows you and cares about you can see what your dream is trying to tell you. Walk to the edge of that cliff, and JUMP! You will never find your future if you stay rooted in a past that no longer defines you. Don’t be afraid to fall because you know in your heart you can fly wherever you want to go. Trust your instincts, they never fail you in the end.

  7. What gorgeous fall pics, Cathy. I’m so sorry that your life seems to be in turmoil at the moment. “This too shall pass,” as my gran used to say, and it always did. Sometimes it takes time though and our patience is sorely tried. I’m so glad that the tests showed only pre-cancerous cells. Good luck with the procedure. I’m thinking of you. *hugs*

    1. Thanks so much, Sylvia. Yes, I really need to figure out what direction I should go next with my life. This has been a struggle I’ve had for most of my life, sadly. Nothing new here…..

      The procedure is over now, and all is well. It was really quite routine, after all. Thanks for the hugs! 🙂

  8. Cathy, I absolutely think that your earthquake dreams are a result of the many changes in your life. Once I had an extremely vivid dream about multiple tornadoes. I Googled it, and sure enough, it was supposed to indicate turmoil and chaos, and I had recently made several huge life changes. Follow your heart and make changes where necessary. So glad to hear your good health news. Take care of yourself! 😉

    1. Thanks for sharing your dream about the tornadoes, Ruth. I hope I can figure out what direction to take with my life because right now, I have so little time to myself, I’m about to go off the deep end. I need a lot of time to pursue my passions, and when I can’t carve out time for this, I get really irritable and frustrated.

      Here’s what I found about earthquake dreams when I Googled them: To dream of an earthquake suggests that you are experiencing a major “shake-up” that is threatening your stability and foundation. The dream highlights your insecurity, fears and sense of helplessness. Is there something in your life that you feel at “fault” for?

      Yes, that’s about right. 🙂

  9. What beautiful photos Cathy of a wonderful landscape. I hope you are feeling a bit more settled now; I will probably find the answer to that question when I catch up a bit more! Meanwhile I had a repetitive dream last night – one where I am driving a car with brakes that do not work properly. I can feel my foot pressing hard on the brake, but although the car slows down, it keeps on moving and won’t stop. I have to avoid hazards and other cars and usually wake up before I hit anything, although last night I did gently rear-end one car! I think it must mean that I don’t feel as if I am in control (of my life? my weight? my decisions?) though it probably means something else entirely. My dreams are fascinating, my husband refers to them as “the world according to planet Jude” 😉

    1. I love your dream, Jude; it sounds like it means a feeling of being out of control. I love your husband’s term: “the world according to planet Jude!” How cute. I feel like I must do something to make my life more tolerable. If I could leave the teaching behind at work, as I did in Oman, I might be able to tolerate it, but the fact that it eats up so much of my “free” time makes it totally unsustainable. Especially for the pay. At least in Oman, I was properly compensated. 🙂

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