This is the second dream we ever remember having.  It is one of our oldest memories.  It comes from when we were three or four years old.

Before you begin, we want to ask you: Since when do little three or four year old boys know about Death?  Since when did they know about a tanks and red stars?  And how – oh, pray tell me how – could we have known all this as a child?

How could we have known. . . what it’s like to die . . . when we didn’t even know what Death was?

So remember: this is from when we were three or four years old . . . a young child, a toddler perhaps – oh so very young – and yet it is true.

It is a dream we’ve always remembered.  But then again, that was the game we used to play . . .

Remember when . . . . . . 

                                      a long long time ago . . . . .

The dream opens like a fog; the “fade in” from black to a roiling mist, from nothingness to . . .

The battle opens.

We (he) are in the woods.  There is noise all around us; the woods are ‘clean’ – that is, they aren’t littered with branches and undergrowth.  These are ‘mature woods’ – lots of pines, men running . . . and the sound –

We are standing there in a overcoat – a heavy one, and it is warm.  There is a rifle in our arms, diagonally held across our chest.  It is cold and there is snow on the ground, though in patches it is all scuffed up and you can see the dark decaying leaves.   In front of us a tree has fallen, left to right, the ball of its roots rising high in the air – it is a big one, with twisting roots sprouting from clumped dirt, and there is a dark cavity where it had come from . . . all of this is happening at the same time –

We can see the our breath puffing into the windless air.  It is . . . midmorning some time?  It is not dark, but gray – there is a mottled gray overcast sky hanging overhead, like the clouds we came through in this dream . . .

and there is the running.  I have been standing there some thirty feet from this tree, watching them run.  They are running through the woods in front of me and behind me while somewhere in the distance there is a popping-chatter (that my adult mind constantly identifies as machine gun fire) and a ground thumping, ground shaking roaring clatter.  I watch the men streaming through the woods from right to the left – dodging around the trees, overcoats flapping . . . and I, too, am breathless with dread and fear . . .

I look down.  I see my hands.  They are shaking; white fingers curled around my weapon.   And I know:

The tank is coming and there’s nowhere to run, no way we can run fast enough . . . we must hide.

We are scared, scared out of our mind.

Wide eyed and panicked (we are young, but this body in this dream feels more like that of a younger man – say in his teens or early twenties or so) – we run forward.  We have a plan.  We’re gonna go leap into that hole that the roots have left . . . knowing that the dirt will protect us from direct fire . . . we’re gonna have a place to hide . . .

but as we are dashing forward the tank appears – going right to left – and it’s about thirty feet or so beyond the gnarled fist of roots . . . and its turret is already turning as it is clearing the edge of the root ball . . . I realize we’re not going to make it.  I have seen the big dull red star on its green painted rough hide, but it is too late – as I leap towards the hole, going in feet first, I see something flashing beside the big barrel (which isn’t aiming at me) – and

something strikes me in the chest.  HARD.  For a split second – a fraction of a hair – I can feel myself being tossed back (surprised, dismayed, disappointed, and in FEAR) . . .

then

nothing.

End of Dream.

And there you have it.  I know we (I) – the child I was then (and I can remember this quite clearly, waking up in my room) – must have woken up for a brief second – just long enough to ‘record’ and remember this dream – and that it has stuck with “me” ever since . . .

Strange dreams to have . . . for a three or four year old boy . . .

Don’t you think?

(PS: As always – and given some recent information – we have come to wonder about this thing, this dream . . . originally thinking it may have been a ‘dream of reincarnation’; that is, we were born in Germany about a decade and a half after WWII . . . we always have been a ‘Warrior At Heart”, meaning one who never knew when to quit . . . if you wanna look at it that way . . . or something else.  Perhaps .  . . perhaps we’ll never know.)

It just seems odd, though . . . there are details in this dream so clear – both back then and right now – though I discredit anything I ‘see’ in it now, knowing it can be contaminated by the views and perspectives of adulthood – one with a very creative (and loving! and hurt :(.  And injured) child inside ….

Wishing us luck – and you too, on this thing . . .

This adventure we call ‘the adventure of a lifetime’ . . .

because it certainly is.

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