Cultural integration

At 6 this morning I woke up panting and sweating from a terrifying nightmare.

It all started with a quite long dream with an intricate story. The dream was about me being on a road trip to reconnect with old friends, and I was on my way back with the updated knowledge that my friends’ families were not doing well, and that I should start taking care of my own family to avoid the bleak future my friends are facing.

Not a meaningless dream, but not a nightmare either.

The creepy side of the story started when I arrived at a place were my mother, brother and I were to take tea with an old friend of my mother. The place was this friend’s house, on the seaside, with a veranda just above sea level.

While the other people were merrily chatting on the sofa, I approached the window to look outside. Then it struck me that the veranda was flooded where I expected to see dry planks. When I realized that the water level was steadily rising and the house was tilting on the side towards the water, I shouted “everyone outside, now!” and jumped out of the window into the water.

As dreams allow, I was then seeing myself and the landscape from a different perspective. The house I was in was at the top of a dyke which was slowly crumbling. My brother was already out swimming but my mother was painfully trying to push herself out of the window while the water was pouring inside.

The current was intense. Water was flowing freely into the valley behind the dyke. My mum started crying that she was not strong enough to swim. My brother and I swam to her side and held her by her arms, trying to accompany the flow towards the valley.

Then my perspective changed to show me how the landscape was slowly and strongly replaced by the flood. I could see people trying to get out of houses from the windows in the roof, imagining the fate of those people in houses already below water level.

Somehow my family and I managed to land on a dry piece of land. We were in a part of an urban area above water level, but I had no idea of the precise location.

At that point I started to decide that I had enough and that it was time to wake up. But before it happened, I could dream my mother complaining how she needed some medication and food and me having no idea of how to get that in a flooded city.

Waking up was painful : I did not sleep enough and the nightmare left me shocked. I fixed myself a glass of water and a piece of bread, and I tried to sleep again while brooding over how relationships between civilians in a flooded country would be affected by such a precarious situation.