Dream diary: Scandinavian tornadoes

In this dream I had arrived to visit my sister, who had moved abroad to go back to school and turn over a new leaf. At first, I assumed it was Norway, because it was sort of dark (I cannot explain the rationale of my dream self). We were sitting in her apartment that she shared with some roommates that were out of town or gone for some reason. She was telling me about her classes and experiences with the language. Then our mom shows up and she’s so excited about getting to learn about our heritage, but she can’t understand a thing anyone is saying even though she bought a book. To myself, I’m thinking ‘I thought we were in Norway, not Denmark, but if mom’s here, then we must be in Denmark.’ So we’re chatting and my sister’s trying to explain the pronunciations and in walks in my husband with his bags. He says he wanted to come to and he found the money himself to pay for his ticket. I’m dumbstruck, once again thinking to myself ‘who gave you over a thousand dollars for a plane ticket?’ and ‘if you have this money much lying around, why am I still paying all the bills?’

The dream sort of morphs and now I’m visiting my husband instead of my sister. He’s been in Denmark on some sabbatical. The roommates are expected to return and my mom goes off to a hotel because there isn’t any more room. The roommates arrive and they’re all girls. Again, I’m flabbergasted. ‘You never mentioned all your roommates are girls! But if this is the life you want and you’re happy, then fine. I’ll go home and do my own thing.’ We can’t even finish the conversation, because weather sirens start going off and we have to make it to a tornado shelter. Apparently, tornadoes in Denmark are huge and devastating every. single. time. We grab our bags and start walking to the distant shelter.

Meanwhile, I see my mom like I’m watching a movie. She’s in a hotel room, calling on the phone to contact a translator as the sirens are going off. She asks the operator to translate the voice on the loud speaker. The operator says ‘They are saying you need to get to a shelter immediately’ and then he adds ‘Have you ever seen a video of a tornado?’ To which, I’m thinking, ‘uh yeah, we’re from the Midwest!’ Mom is frantically asking about where she needs to go and who can help her, but the operator can’t assist with any of those things. I see mom leaving the hotel with her bags and for a brief moment dragging the bed frame (I’m telling you, I don’t know what that’s about!) She eventually discards it in a heap on the curb.

I’ve been trying to call her of course, but she was on her phone the whole time. We reach the shelter and sit in theater seats to wait out the storm. I finally get a call from my mom. She tells me she is back at the apartment with Dieter and they’re scared. (If you are unfamiliar with Dieter’s story, see Learning a tough lesson through loss.) I instantly feel guilty that I left my dog behind in the chaos and I had to get back to them. I picked up my suitcase. (There was a lot of red in this dream, red seats, red suit case, Big Red cinnamon gum, which I stuck in my mouth before getting up.) There was a man sitting on the ground and he leaned against my legs. I told him to take my seat and I scrambled out of the shelter.

Tornado over St. Paul, 1893 Julius O. Holm can be viewed at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Outside, a homeless old man with tan skin was holding a cardboard sign. When he saw me come out of the shelter, he tossed the sign on the ground and told me to go back inside. I tried to explain that my mom and my dog couldn’t find their way and I needed to help them. The man kept looking at the dark clouds on the horizon and insisting that there wasn’t anytime.

I woke up in a panic. I would never leave my dog behind.

Read about possible interpretations of this dream HERE.



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