I should probably see a psychiatrist. Regular readers of this column will likely think that I should have done this years ago, but I am really beginning to think I need to schedule a doctor’s visit to interpret my recurring dreams.
For 45 years, I’ve had the same dream, over and over, where I wake up in a nervous sweat, realizing I have missed a final exam. I did, in fact, miss a final exam about halfway through my collegiate experience. I would like to think my oversleeping of that early morning test was because of an all-night study session … but we all know that’s not the reason. Luckily, the kindly old professor allowed me to make up the evaluation, and I was able to retain my exceptional C grade. So, I can probably interpret the meaning of that dream without the help of a health care professional. But there are three more dreams that recur with regularity that I just can’t explain.
In the first dream, I drive into a field of cows and calves to feed them hay, and the cows, as usual, line up behind me as I unroll the large bale. Out of the woods walks a newborn calf, without an ear tag (I try to tag every calf as they are born). Then, another calf walks out … and another … and another … until over a dozen calves surround me, none of which are sporting numbered ear tags. Are they the neighbors’ calves, or are they mine and I’ve just failed to put tags in their ears? I wake up and breathe a sigh of relief, realizing its not calving season yet.
The second dream is more disturbing. It’s autumn and I’m rounding up spring-born calves to sell at the livestock auction. It’s after we’ve gathered all the herds at different farms and sorted off the calves to load onto trucks, and I suddenly realize I have forgotten a herd of cattle at another farm. We make a quick trip to that place and find that they have been without feed all summer long. What’s more frightening is that it appears they have been without water for quite some time and are on the verge of death. How could I forget about having an entire herd of cattle? I wake up and know that it was a dream, because I sold that farm six years ago.
The last dream is really more of a nightmare. I’m driving my tractor through the field, clipping old seed heads and weeds, when a fancy black SUV pulls into the driveway and a couple of men in suits get out. When I stop the tractor and walk over to meet them, they introduce themselves as officials from my local bank. They politely tell me that I am seriously behind in my payments to them and they are going to, unfortunately, foreclose on my farm and home. At first, I’m in a panic, but then I look back toward the tractor and realize this has to be a dream — because I would never be caught dead in a tractor that was that color.
Crownover lives in Missouri.