The boarding school, which Rose attended for five years as a teenager, in Co Westmeath, stood beside Lough Ennell, near the town of Mullingar. There was a big group of swans on that lake, which could be seen from the three big windows facing that way in a half circle. While doing exams, she would see the little boat on the lake, with a lone fisherman, and the swans near a little inlet, all in perfect reflection on a perfectly still lake, in the near distance to the school.
The school has since become a hotel, and Rose went there, one afternoon with her mother, who loved an early tea, and a slice of brown bread. Our table was set in those windows and they looked out to the lake and the swans. She walked with Rose down the paved lane to the lake and they spoke to two lovely bright silver grey spotted horses on their way down to the lake. Her mother spoke her own horse language to them, which was singsong and involved many smiles, varying with her words, as she reached to pet them. The field was spotted with old copper beach trees, with bright grey trunks and the beautiful copper leaves. A golf course is behind a grey stonewall.
It felt bitter sweet for Rose to walk there, as she reconnected to her feelings. Rose lived with thirty-five teenager girls. There she falls in love, digests the rules, encounters the rivalries, looses much loved friends to others. Then there was the yearly exams, both religious and regular ones, religious services daily, Mass and Rosary, and her own personal prayers for good marks in exams. The food patterns, where Sunday was sausages, porridge on weekdays, and some grapes in October from the nun’s hot house, could be relied on. The sisters themselves, some sweet, some not so sweet, brought learning and adoption to Rose.
In Back Bay State Park, south of Virginia Beach, the swans landed one time when Rose and her children were on a long weekend. Rose always rushed into the lodge to get one of the bunks with a view of the water, and a window to open beside her face. The leader had the participants listen to the sounds made by the swans, who had just landed in their southern winter destination. They were hidden by the rushes, which had invaded the bay there. Privacy and shelter for the swans meant Rose did not see them, except in her mind’s eye, and heard settling in for the night sounds from the swans.
Rose looks back on those great weekends, attended twice a year, in which Vicky showed the group how to gather what was local and incorporate it into the regular recipes. There were many hands to make light work of the shelling, or picking. Service berries were Rose’s favorite fruit to be picked in the springtime event over Memorial Day. Service berries are like blueberries, but a little sweeter, less juicy and having an oilier nutty flavor.
There is an old Gaelic story about the Swans. Three children are turned into swans by the stepmother. This is code for ego energies, trying to take over the lovely young spiritual natural energies. The swans were said to have lived nine hundred years on three local lakes, in Co Westmeath, her home county, in Ireland. Rose, if she were a swan, would wake to the morning rising sun and a crescent moon above the tree line, and settle in the dusk, on lake Derevaragh, with some swan noises, reviewing the day in some way, releasing the anxiety, settling into the peacefulness of the night and the sky. Totally alone, yet not lonely.
So a swan would become human again if she stayed in simplicity, for a period of time to get the energy back from the ego control, the evil stepmother and father. It is not about a boy/girl friend, but about energies inside. Reflecting on the inner and outer male energies can bring awareness.
The dreams will be helpful, bringing in the inner male energies, patterns laid in by having a father with certain patterns. If the dream says that four guys are involved with causing the blue bird of happiness to hibernate and become plastic under a tree trunk, then the father connection comes up for examination in therapy. He drank too much and had anxiety, and his little girl had to care for him. Does she pick a husband who does not drink but has other issues equally debilitating to him and her? The dreams give some clues to the dreamers involved on how to address this. The natural outpouring from the unconscious itself has the strength to straighten this out over a period of time. Images are transformative.
So if you, a woman, have a dream with those lovely male energies represented by a man, and if you are a man and have a dream with those lovely female energies represented by a woman, then you are looking at animus and anima archetypes respectively. Those two archetypes alone are full of meaning and will bring awareness to those who take the time to stop for an hour to examine them as needed. A twenty-minute to an hour time daily of personal time devoted to the dreams and meditation will be helpful.
I will sign off now hoping you come here to people my day and I will take your dreams and examine my life in the light of them as they are full of other and cannot help but help my energies grow as I reach to react to them in my feedback, writing, drawing and awareness. It is my heart’s delight to be graced by your presence and dreams. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in my little office here in Harrisonburg. It is a beautiful place; the Shenandoah Valley and I would be happy to do some marathon sessions with you as you bring your book of dreams and drawings. Love from Rose.