“I need a sign
To let me know you’re here…”
Minutes after I got the idea for this blog piece, that fully arched rainbow above formed in the sky to the East. Ok then, I thought. Let’s do it.
After a two year hiatus from teaching high school, I made the decision to go back into the agony and the ecstasy that is public education in America. I have no delusions of grandeur. Schools are a tough place to work day in and day out, year after year. But I just couldn’t help myself.
Plus, my dreams keep giving me some kind of telephonic device, encouraging me to communicate and call for help, so I did. I believe my exact words were: “I’m going to need so much ******* help!” I’m not sure if that counts as a prayer or not, but I am sure that these moments of distress teach us how mighty forces can indeed come to our aid. I was reminded of the principle ask and ye shall receive, and I was also reminded of Caroline Myss’s book Invisible Acts of Power where she writes that once we ask for help, our prayer is answered within a second, and everything from then on out should be considered as answers to our prayer.
So yes, I called on my angels, and The Angels, any and all angels great and small to help me with this upcoming school year.
Maybe you use another word…healers, helpers, guides, archetypes…they are all honored here. They live in both our dreams and our waking lives. And when they show up in one, they help us recognize their presence in the other. Their healing effects pervade everything…
In both my waking life and my dream life, there were more rainbows than just the one above, along with other things.
And on the morning of my first day of school, I walked out to my backyard and found a large, beautiful feather waiting for me–one of the many call signs from a beloved student named Layla Raines who passed away in 2017. And later as I started my car to go to school, I was greeted by the lyrics to the Eric Clapton song she’s named after… “...please, Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind…”
In the chaos of my first week of school, I have a dream where Kaylee Moore, another beloved student who passed away in 2019, walks into my classroom and lays her books down exactly where she used to sit. I blink and she’s gone. No one saw her but me. I start to panic, thinking I’ll never be able to tell anyone because I’ll never be able to prove that she was here.
But when I slow it down and re-enter the dream in our Natural Dreamwork fashion, I know that proof isn’t the point. Angels do what they do, and proof seems to be our worry, not theirs.
So instead, I notice how my panic blocks the light of this sacred encounter and prevents me from feeling the joy of who is in my presence. And when I panic in waking life too, that light is also blocked. I know this panic well–my dreams keep giving it to me because my waking life keeps giving it to me–and it’s cutting me off from the blessing of the moment, from the gifts of love and healing and connection that are trying to come through.
Underneath the panic, I’m just flat out scared, and when I feel into that fear, I watch and listen to everything that comes up with it: I’m scared of being the only one who saw her, of not being believed, of someone else’s doubts negating my sacred experiences, and the sad loneliness that accompanies those fears.
But when I rewind and stay focused on the joy and the awe of what is unfolding before me, I well up with love instead. The longer I can stay with that welling up in my heart, with that healing presence, the longer I stay connected.
Other dreams leading up to the start of the school year show me in a classroom full of students trying to show me their writing, but I’m not being present with them either. I’m freaking out about feeling ill-prepared, about not being able to do enough, or that there’s a form of standard-based assessment that I don’t have.
These dreams, too, have angels. They were preparing me for what matters more–love, presence, and connection with the very people I’ve committed to serve.
Anything can be an angel–truth, silence, a long hug, the sunrise, the fox barking in our woods, eye contact without words, the tiny little flowers nestled between the blades of grass. These healing images offer to get inside of us and touch us in the deepest possible ways.
Kaylee found her way into my classroom again, as did Layla. I don’t know if they ever left. There are others too. And my own classmates who passed away when I was in school make their way in also. So do fellow teachers who I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years. The most recent one is Art Politz. On July 27 of this year, I was reorganizing a bookshelf and came across his Vietnam photo that he gave me with a handwritten note on the back. It had been two years since I touched that bookcase. I later learned that Art had passed away the very same day I found his photo.
Our dreams and our waking lives hold the power to bring us our angels, if we let them, if we dare to be with them even if it means going without a single shred of evidence. They’re everywhere…in the visible and the invisible, the seemingly insignificant. Which reminds me of something Moonlight Graham said in The Field of Dreams: “You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, ‘Well, there’ll be other days.’ I didn’t realize then that that was the only day.”
Sometimes we do pass right by these angels, these significant moments, but that’s what I love about our Natural Dreamwork practices. They take us back into the moment so that we can fully embrace the very gifts being offered to us, the significant moments that we might’ve passed by once, but can go back and access again and again and again.
No one can do this life alone. Especially teachers. We don’t just need a team of angels; we need a whole league of angels. In every way, shape, and form.
Whoever you are, whatever your path, may your life and your dreams connect you to angel after angel after angel…
Ali Meyer is a passionate Natural Dreamwork practitioner. She is a teacher, traveler, thinker. She works one-on-one sessions as well as writing circles, classes, workshops. You can contact her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more about her work on the About Us page.