I am at a family reunion, in Eden, where my Mom grew up and my parents lived for awhile. I’m younger, maybe in my 30’s, visiting from Switzerland. Their home is huge, the reception area almost like a hotel lobby, with sofas and chairs and other seating areas all over.
There must be at least 100 people here. And not a single one I know or recognize. Some seem to recognize me, and say hi, ask how I’m doing. I stumble through answers, wondering who they are and how they know me. I go sit in a chair to watch. A woman sits next to me – she’s about my age (30’s) and she starts up a conversation. She seems to know me and is interested in what has been happening with me, tells me a bit about herself.
A while later I am wandering around and hear a sound from a room – apparently a guest bedroom where people have put their coats, bags, etc. In there is a baby, fussing, crying a bit. I go and pick him up – he looks to be around 8-9 months old. He snuggles against me and stops crying. I carry him out, thinking maybe his mother will recognize him and take him. I go around asking, someone does recognize him but says his mother has left to run an errand.
So I sit with him, rock him. He begins to doze a bit and I think of putting him back in the room in his bassinet. As I take him into the room, he starts talking to me and I am amazed such a little one can talk already. He tells me he now feels better. I ask him if he wants to take another nap and he says yes, so I lay him in the bassinet and leave.
They are now serving food – another room has opened up, with a huge buffet counter where a chef is fixing plates and doling them out, Some kind of creole food from the look of it, kind of exotic for Eden, but it looks and smells delicious. People are in line and taking their food to tables that are set up all over. I wonder where I should sit, who I could talk to, and I think of the woman who was talking to me before, thinking perhaps I could find her.
But there are too many people, the line too long, and the chef is taking his sweet time arranging each plate just so. I decide to wait until the line is shorter, and wander off into the rest of the house. I find my parents’ bedroom it is beautiful, of course, decorated to perfection, just the right furniture. And there is a huge flat screen tv against the wall. It must be a new model, because even though it’s not turned on, there is a kind of scrolling device along the top, where small blocks scroll past each with a different channel on it, showing what is on at that time. I realize it can also work as a computer screen and wonder if something like it might come to Switzerland.
I return to get some food, only now there is no chef, no one in line, and most of the food is gone. There is a small amount of food left in hot platters, but no plates to grab to get any of it. I am feeling somewhat hungry and frustrated at the same time.
I go outside, and realize we are just near a row of stores, very European looking in style, with brick streets for pedestrians, no cars allowed. I notice a book store in the distance and feel excited. I must go visit the book store, and wonder how late it is open, hoping I will have time after the reunion.
I go back inside and notice in the distance that the chef is now preparing dessert plates, all kinds of desserts, cakes and pastries and anything you could want. Someone who saw me go out is now asking me about my life in Switzerland, how it was to learn a new language, etc. Several other people are gathering around me asking questions. I start to answer one in French then realize I’m speaking French and laugh and stop myself, and translate. I notice people carrying dessert plates and excuse myself to go get in line. At the back of the line is my Dad, and we wait patiently and talk a bit.
Just before we reach the dessert serving, a ruckus breaks out. Some younger men (teens maybe) have started a food fight with the desserts. They are laughing and throwing cakes and pastries and making a general mess. The chef throws them out, but by now there is nothing edible left.
I feel frustrated, and go into the home kitchen which is normal sized and think I may at least fix myself a cup of coffee. When I’m in there, I hear some women talking, one is upset. I go to see what’s up and they tell me the upset woman is a psychic and she is upset about a vision she saw of coming danger. The others are worried and I try to calm them. I try to explain to them that all this worry will just cause bad energy to come to them.
We are in a room with a window overlooking some pastures, and I notice a storm building. I suggest that what the psychic saw was the coming storm, and she probably just misinterpreted. The psychic then tells me no, it was specific, there will be a plane crash, sometime tonight. The women are upset because their daughters are flying out that night, and they are worried it will be their plane. I realize my flight is also for this night and rethink it, decide perhaps not to take the plane. I tell the women to keep their daughters at home, even if it’s a false alarm, at least they will not worry.
Well, that was some reunion! No idea where it came from but it was nice to see my parents (both now deceased) in their favorite element – at least, my mom’s favorite element – entertaining. I felt my usual claustrophobia in large crowds, out of place, not at all in my element. The book store is a recurring theme any time I dream of Texas. Kind of odd now that I can order books in English for my Kindle, but the desire to browse was just as strong as usual. No ideas about the baby, or the psychic or any of the rest.
Setting: Eden, my parents’ home, large reception rooms, a street with a bookstore, my parents’ room,
People: My parents, generic relatives, a friendly woman, fussy baby, talking baby, chef, friendly questioners, psychic, worried women
Props: Sofas, chairs, tables, food, desserts, large screen tv, window
Actions: Talking to others, mingling, trying to fit in, cuddling the baby, missing food, exploring a bedroom, reassuring the fearful women
Feelings: Feeling totally out of place, out of my element, but happy to see my parents. Very aware that I don’t know these people who are supposed to be my relatives. Awkward. Relief when someone talks to me, is friendly. Frustrated about the food, in charge with the baby, enthused about the tv and about the book store, somewhat anxious about the psychic’s prediction. Mostly just wanting out of there, away from the crowd.
Snippets of thought: Too many people, why don’t I know any of them? I want out, want to get away. I find refuge in taking care of the baby, then in exploring the bedroom, finding the tv, thinking about the bookstore, all of the things I like. I want peace, not this huge gathering, I want to be alone, yet I enjoy holding the baby and talking with just the one person at a time. Storm building. Keep daughters home??