I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream
In the village he was known as a dreamer. And he was.
His mother was often at her wits end to get her son moving as he took an eternity to complete the simplest of tasks.
Patrick was an odd boy. From birth his mother had known her son was different. He walked well before her other children, he was often not there when she spoke to him and that worried her as she knew there was not much future in the village for anyone who could not pull his weight and contribute to the prosperity of all.
His mother often found her son in the garden, crouched down, gaze concentrating on some aspect of life at his feet. He was fascinated by the workings or nature. He’d sit and watch bugs and insects doing what they did for hours.
As he aged he became more of a problem. Every child in the village was expected to do their bit. Patrick’s task was to bring the water from the well each morning for the families use. Being a small boy his father had made him a cart on which to carry the water.
At sunrise he would set off, pulling his cart and empty vessels toward the well. The well man would fill the empty containers, load them onto the cart and Patrick would drag them home.
This was a task Patrick could manage, no one had any doubt and he would bring home the water, he didn’t spill much but the issue as was it took him half the day to complete it.
His mother would be beside herself with frustration, as day after day no matter what cajoling she did Patrick would wander in at a time that suited him.
‘Patrick,’ she would say why are you late again.
‘I’m late?’ he’d ask.
‘Patrick I sent you off for the water four hours ago. You should have been back well before now.’
‘Oh sorry mother but I was talking you see.’
‘Talking? Patrick I need that water each morning. Sometimes I think you are just off with the fairies.’
This same story was repeated every day. His mother would usually throw her hands in the air, grab the water and go off to do whatever was needed.
One morning she sat with him when he returned. She asked him about the fairies.
‘They gather round me as soon as I leave the house. They are such a chatty lot. Every morning they ask me what I had for breakfast and did I bring any for them. I say no as we only have enough for us and they seem happy with that answer. Then they follow me to the well and watch as the well man does his filling. Then as I get to the corner near he blacksmiths they say stop, as they want to watch the blacksmith in action, its something about the fire and the forge they say that fascinates them.
They are forever asking questions, the red one is the leader, the others are like ranked in colour. The runt is the purple one; she is small, very quiet, rarely says anything and sits away from the others.
We get on fine Mother. Its just talk. When I get home I don’t know where they go but they just fly off.’
His mother listened to her son and said for him to get on with his other chore, the sweeping of the kitchen floor. She wondered what it all meant.
The next day Patrick went off with his cart and was not seen again. Somewhere between the house and the well he vanished. His mother, his father his brothers and sisters searched for days, weeks, months but no trace was found.
A mother never gives up on a lost child. In her heart she knew he was alive somewhere. She clung to her belief that Patrick would come home one day soon.
Six months after his disappearance Patrick appeared to his mother in a dream. ‘I am alright,’ he said to her. ‘I understand the torment you are going through but you need to know I am still with you. You can find me mother in the shrubs in the garden, the breeze from the south, in the roses on the vine, in all things natural in your world. If a flower blooms think of me, if it rains and the well fills, think of me, if you awaken to a sunny day think of me, I am with you always.’
The next morning the mother rose from her bed disturbed by the dream but curious all the same as to why her son had appeared in a dream and a dream in which he spoke to her.
As she stepped out of her front door that morning to go for the water, a slight breeze, struck her on the cheek, it was a cooling breeze as the weather had been very warm of late. As she made her way to the well she couldn’t help but notice the roses in full bloom, the shrubbery looking resplendent, the flowers along the path all-facing towards her brilliant in the riot of colour they projected.
She was about to dismiss it all as sheer coincidence when again she felt as if slapped by the breeze; the coolness lingered with her as she stood by the well man.
It accompanied her home reinforcing within her that her son had appeared in the dream. He was still with her, he had left her world in physical form but his spirit was with her.
Her heart lifted, putting her hand to her face she felt the cool of what she knew was her son’s breath.