Thursday, October 16, 2014

Facing the Orange Sun

I looked at the weather forecast yesterday morning, and my heart sank.  They were predicting 2 to 3 inches of rain and severe thunderstorms overnight and into Thursday morning.  I hate thunderstorms, and that much rain means flooding around the barn and the house.  Here I was, facing the first of these fairly frequent weather dramas all alone.

My fears are not unfounded. When we moved into this house ten years ago, I was with my daughter and my mom on a summer afternoon when lightening struck.  It was like a bomb going off. A pine tree caught on fire in the pasture. The fence post exploded. It blew out fans, the microwave, TVs, stereos, computers, as the shock waves shot through our home like a giant spider web of static electricity. Later, I learned that the temperature inside a lightening bolt can be 50,000 degrees F, hotter than the surface of the sun. 

When I was a kid, growing up in Illinois, tornadoes and thunderstorms were common hazards. The sirens went off at the firehouse to warn us, and my mom would make us go down to the basement.  Sometimes, the risk was so great that we would sleep down there.  I got up for school one morning when I was about eight years old, and as I walked down the hall to the kitchen, the big elm tree outside the window in front of me was split in half by a bolt of lightening.  

Soon after that, I began having “The Dream”, and I’ve had it ever since, over and over.  It is always the same: I walk into the kitchen in the home where I grew up, look out the window over the sink. The sky is a pea soup green, like it looks before a tornado hits. The sun is a big orange ball.  Suddenly, the sun explodes like the world has ended. And I wake up, heart pounding, afraid to go back to sleep.

So, fearing the worst once again, I resolved that I would do everything possible yesterday to prepare for the upcoming storm.  I cleaned the drainage ditches around the barn, added wood pellets to the stalls in case there was flooding. I asked my neighbor to help me clean out the gutters around our house that were clogged with falling leaves. After I did all the physical preparations, I decided that I would sit down and paint my recurring nightmare to see if I could clear it from my consciousness.  In one burst of watercolor frenzy, I made the orange sun and the green sky seen through a window. It was primitive, like an eight year old might paint it.  Afterwards, I felt calmer, realizing that I had done what I needed to do here to feel safe.

And safe I am. Sleeping through all the wind and rain with Stella, my “dog log” on the bed next to me, I felt no fear at all. The storm blew over us, not flooding or thundering as much as predicted. This morning, I looked up the meaning of dreaming that the sun exploded. I discovered that the sun is a masculine symbol representing the conscious mind and the intellect. It can also be a symbol of the true self and intelligence, as opposed to intuition. So, blowing up the sun might be a message from my soul to my mind. Mysteriously, I do feel protected, and I understand just a little deeper that I must always honor and trust my intuition.


Lori Skoog said...

You have this figured out Victoria! And keep painting!

Victoria Cummings said...

Thanks, Lori - I wish I could come and paint with you in one of your classes!

C-ingspots said...

I think doing what you can to prepare definitely helps ones' state of mind, helps us to feel like we've done what we could, and the rest is up to God. Then, I pray and snuggle up resting in the peace that surpasses all human understanding. Glad everything's ok.

Victoria Cummings said...

I think you're right. There's a point where you just have to trust that it will all come out okay.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

I can relate to the feelings you were having. Preparing for storms helps in two ways - less worrying during the event, and burning off a lot of the anxious energy that builds up beforehand.

What a powerful dream - love the painting! Glad all is well.

billie said...

I also think, knowing you as I do virtually, that the sun might represent Light and the source of life here on earth. It's the outer light - and if it explodes what are we left with? Our inner Light. Which I think gets to that intuition you mentioned and also our inner sense of safety and trust and ability to self-soothe.

I love that you painted the dream! As I was reading I was thinking that would be a wonderful thing to do to work with the material the dream has presented to you over time.

Love love love this post and so glad you are safe in all ways. :)

Victoria Cummings said...

Billie - thank you so much - there's so many things for me to think about in what you've written. I've decided to start doing one painting a day in a spiral book, like a visual journal, and many of those paintings will be about what I've dreamed. So much to explore…..