Your editor likes to think of himself as having a scientific frame of mind and not giving a lot of weight to those who base their actions on dreams and portents.
Nevertheless, a dream I had quite a few years ago has had a profound influence on my life.
Recently, I announced that I plan to cycle 450 km from Toronto to Ottawa to promote a petition calling for a Canada-wide referendum on carbon fee-and-dividend.
Before that your editor, in 1987 and in 1989, walked from Clearwater to Toronto, a distance of about 4,000 km.
The walk was to have been a round-the-world pilgrimage to India and back to honor Mahatma Gandhi.
Unfortunately, a minor but persistent foot injury (plantar fasciitis) forced me to turn back.
This is all unusual behavior and perhaps demands an explanation.
It all goes back to a dream I had it while I was living in a small log cabin on the Flats in Clearwater.
It was night and I was on the Blue Bridge in the fog. The bridge looked different, but at first I couldn’t say how.
Then I realized it wasn’t a road-bridge anymore. Instead, it was a narrow, suspension foot-bridge.
Steel from the trusses that used to form the bridge had instead been used to make towers on either bank that held up the suspension bridge’s cables.
The bridge was still colored blue, however.
A man walked towards me from the south out of the fog. As he came closer I could see that it was Mahatma Gandhi.
We exchanged a few words, then he said, “Please follow me.”
He led me back through the fields towards my cabin.
As we got closer I saw that there was a small campfire in a clearing near a large tree.
We walked towards it and several figures who had been gathered around the fire got up and greeted Gandhi. I realized that one was Jesus, another Mohammed, a third Confucius…. They were the great religious leaders of human history. Including Gandhi there were eight of them.
Most seemed to be men but one was a beautiful black woman. She was obviously pregnant.
Behind them was a large wickiup – an oval shelter made of bent saplings and covered with branches and bark. It appeared that they planned to stay the night.
The skies cleared and, looking to the south directly above the wickiup, I could see an enormous arc stretching like a ribbon from east to west across the sky.
It came to me that this would what the rings of Saturn would look like if a person was on the surface of that planet.
As I looked at the arc these words came to me: “And we shall build a New Jerusalem.”
And then I woke up.
I came away from the dream with the profound conviction that Gaia, the life on Earth, is pregnant with a new form of life, one with the potential to expand to the stars.
That means we have a two-fold task. The first is to do what we can to encourage the speedy and safe delivery of the child. The second is protect and preserve the mother.
Nothing else is nearly as important.