This past Saturday morning after rising for a drink of water, returning to bed and falling back to sleep, I had a beautiful dream about a Journey upon a river near the ocean with my wife. What started as a dream that seemed normal enough blossomed into a lucid excursion and a boat trip which spanned beautiful vistas and scenes from a land unknown to me.

NOTE: the picture above which comes from deviant art was so shockingly similar to my dream when I first laid eyes upon it while searching for a graphic for this post that I simply had to use it.

As per usual this would produce some interesting interactions with characters from my subconscious mind and one which would provide some interesting feedback.

The story begins with my wife and I doing some window shopping in a small seaside town reminiscent of some our waking life destinations for said activities. A lovely little village with a main street facing the bay on what felt like an autumn day. A blue sky with big white clouds overhead produced a beautiful reflection on the river of which the local marina was set upon.

Walking on cobblestone sidewalks past little shops and pubs all painted in their own unique ways and displaying wares in their windows or signs placed in view of pedestrians outside tempting us to come in. My wife and I wore light Jackets and clothes appropriate for the cool air and subtle gusts of wind coming off the waters edge.

Making our way down to the docks where fishermen and boat enthusiasts alike moved about tending to their ships, we walked slowly down the length of one particular dock. There were small aluminum boats, large fishing vessels and more than a few yachts which we joked about owning some day.

These being activities which are common to our holiday excursions in waking life, I had absolutely no idea I was dreaming. It all felt wonderfully real and relaxing.

Reaching the end of the dock, my wife and I stop to inspect a rather curious yacht of a smaller size. It was about forty feet long with a center console housing a room unseen. Upon this console there was a large platform with one set of controls and a smaller one still upon that where a large steering wheel could be seen from where we stood.

The boats center console as I called it, was peculiar as it appeared to be made of wood. The door to enter this area was a beautiful oval wooden door with large iron  clasps. The door was darker than the other part of the console with a rich and deep stain upon it’s surface.

Just then, we notice that there is a man knelt down in the back of the boat, tying a boot lace. He wore a brown leather jacket, ripped jeans and had worn steal tipped boots. Standing up upon noticing our presence, he walked over and introduced himself, proudly showing off his boat and home at sea.

Danny the boatman had short scruffy black hair, a thick five o’clock shadow and sunglasses. Although looking like a bit of a rough character, he was very friendly and spoke fondly of his boat, giving us a tour of the outside of the craft.

My wife and I sincerely enjoyed our time listening to him speak of his adventures upon the water and when asked if we would like to go for ride and even being offered to drive the vessel once we made our way out of the bay well, of course we could not resist.

Leaving the bay after untying the ship, Danny slowly steered the boat into the open water of the great river which was not far from the open ocean. Opting to head north up the river rather than into the sea, our Journey began.

Danny was driving the ship from the second platform and called down to us inviting us to go into the center console if we so wished. Opening the large wooden door and stepping into the living area of the ship we found a most beautiful cabin that was much like the inside of an actual cabin in the woods. everything from the balcony above to the floors, walls and ceilings had been built from various types of wood. Oak, knotty pine and cedar could be seen in all directions.

There was a small kitchen area under the balcony above. Over one of the two beds was a large circular window with a cross of wooden inlays dividing the window into four equal triangular panes of glass. There was a wooden ladder which lead to the balcony above which had a large curved glass window looking outward.

My wife then grabbed a book off of a table and plopped down on one of the beds and began to flip through it, reading bits and pieces as she did. I sat down on the bed adjacent to the one she laid upon and in that moment, I became lucid.

As an avid and regular lucid dreamer, I no longer get shocked or overly excited at the realization that I am dreaming which is a wonderful accomplishment as doing so usually results in waking up.

Upon this realization I got up and walked to the door, pushed it open and walked out on the side of the boat. Leaning against the rail on the side, I looked around. It never ceases to amaze me the incredible vistas and astounding lands of beauty our subconscious minds create while dreaming. That being said, part of me suspects that dreams are not creations of our own minds but perhaps non-physical places that we can visit…

Looking across the vast body of water to the other side of the river I stared at a gorgeous mountain range of green mountains at the base of which was a lush forest leading to the waters edge. This scene stretched for as far as I could see in both directions looking to my left and right.

I fucking love dreaming ,I thought to myself. For a while I just stood there, watching the the water below the boat and looking back and forth to the mountains and the blue sky. After a while, Danny called down to me. Eye, you guys want to steer the boat for a while, he asked?

Absolutely, I called back to him! I went back inside and told my wife that we would be taking a turn as captain of the ship for a bit. Once back outside, Danny told us to climb a small ladder which lead to the uppermost platform of the boat. Doing as instructed, my wife and I found that the platform had just enough space for the both us.

It was tight quarters but the view from up there was wonderful. I took charge of the large silver steering wheel and after a bit of awkwardness, found a comfort zone for gently turning the ship to the left or the right. We continued to follow the river north for sometime. As we moved ever onward, I noticed the water was unrealistically clear and we could see giant fish swimming below the surface.

As we eventually had to go under a low bridge which required both my wife and I to squat down a bit to avoid striking the object with our heads, we noticed one large eel like creature that bumped into the ship, apparently not thrilled with our presence. After another bump from the giant snake like water creature it swam off into the depths of the river.

Shortly after, we turned into another large bay area that had a single dock and small house at the side of one large rock formation. The dock stretched across the water almost to another rock formation about fifty feet away.

At this point, Danny instructed us to come down as he would be docking the ship. Upon reaching the main floor of the boat once again, my wife and I watched as Danny maneuvered the ship into place on one side of the dock. On the other side rested a small and rather beat up fishing boat which bobbed back and forth from the wake of our ship docking.

Once the boat had been secured to the dock and the three of us departed the ship, Danny mentioned that he needed to take the smaller vessel across the way by himself for a matter of business but that he would return sooner than later.

We waved to him as he departed in the fishing boat and took temporary residence in the small house (which was more of a exaggerated hut) at the end of the dock sitting at the base of the large rock formation.

This part of the dream became hazy, like watching a movie through a pair of dirty glasses. Mostly it was just my wife and I talking and looking at the inside of the house which felt like a recently abandoned beach house.

I left the hut and walked outside. Upon doing so, clarity returned and I found myself looking down the length of the dock which faced the other even larger rock formation about twenty feet from it’s end.

I noticed that there was a plump man of perhaps Arabic decent wearing a set of denim overalls over a white t-shirt. he wore a white cap and had a thick black beard. he carried a broom and supplies of some type and appeared to be cleaning the rock formation.

Walking to the edge of the dock I watched him work upon the rocks. The Rock formation stood about fifty feet tall and even higher than that further back. It seemed as though the rock formation was at the base of a mountain.

The area where the man was working had a cylindrical formation carved out from the top of the formation to the bottom. A byproduct of the small waterfall that fell from the rocks apex down to the water below.

The stones were covered with a lattice of green moss and about halfway down where the waterfall fell, there was a strange living coral like creature or creatures that resembled tree roots attached to the stone, gently writhing like fingers caressing the rock.

The man would meticulously clean the rocks without touching the moss and other various lichens and plant life. standing at the end of the dock I yelled to the man. You there, keeper of the mountain, what is your name? The man stopped what he was doing and turned to look at me. For a moment he was silent and then in a deep voice replied “Alhara”. What is your full name, I asked in earnest? The man looked at me as though slightly annoyed and in a louder and firmer voice replied “ALHARA”.

Oh OK then, I responded. That mountain rock of which you are working upon appears to be filled with magic, I said in an excited tone. Alhara looked at me and smiled saying something to the effect of “you have no idea how right you are…” I called to Alhara again asking in a tone of respect, would you give me a relic from the mountain to use in spell craft?

Alhara simply nodded and turned to a pitch pine near his right side. He reached out and pulled a small piece of bark from the tree. Turning back to me he threw it into the water just a few feet off the end of the dock. Without hesitating, I dived into the water and retrieved the bark.

I then bumped into a much smaller one of those previously mentioned eel creatures and while startled, I ignored it and swam back to the dock, pulling myself back to it’s surface. Although having just been in the water I was dry. In lucidity, I am always aware that water is not in fact, actually wet.

I waved to Alhara and thanked him graciously for the gift. he nodded and then went back to cleaning the rocks. At this point I went back to the hut and as I did, Danny returned from his trip.

Getting out of the boat he explained to me that he would be traveling forty miles to the north and taking a detour through a canal in a local city which would bring us to a sea port. My wife came out of the house and listened to Danny speak as I did the same.

The three of us went on the the larger ship and sat in the living room while Danny continued to speak. He explained that we were welcome to join him, but that we would need to remain asleep in waking life as we would not be departing until Monday morning in real time.

At this point, the dream took on a semi-lucid atmosphere. I knew that I was still dreaming but having a character make such an offer was effecting my mind in ways that was odd to comprehend. It was one of the first instances when one of the characters in the dream seemed aware that I was in fact dreaming and suggested that my choice in this matter would be affected by my sleeping body in meat space.

Usually in my lucid dreams, characters acted more like pre-programed video game sprites…

I spoke to my wife and we debated whether it would be wise to do this if in fact it would result in us sleeping through work Monday morning and beyond. Although it was a tough decision we ultimately decided that we should return home and explained our decision to Danny.

At this point, out of the blue a friend of mine was in the room listening to the three of us speaking. Danny explained that he would gladly returnus to the seaside town where the dream began however, he would only be able to transport two of us.

At this point the dream was drifting back and forth between lucid and non lucid. I was emotionally distressed by having to leave my friend behind who was suddenly part of the narrative of the dream and suggested that he and my wife take the ship back while I simply flew as I was able to do so in a lucid state.

I felt extremely sad at this point for reasons I was unsure of but ultimately decided that I would indeed fly while my wife and my friend would return with Danny by ship. I walked over to my wife and hugged her. As i held her in my arms I felt a sense of heartbreak and I closed my eyes.

When I did, everything turned white. While I could still feel my wife in my arms and hear the sounds from the ship, I knew the dream was ending. I began to hear kind a kind of Celtic music and I spoke the words, “goodbye Danny.”

Immediately after, I woke up.

For a while I just lay there pondering the dream, trying to relive it and review the beautiful imagery. I was tempted to allow sleep to pull me back in hopes of returning to that particular world. I was however, afraid I would loose certain details and at the moment, the mountain keeper was on my mind.

I got up and googled “Alhara”. I discovered that most of the results were in regards to this television show which is apparently the most popular show in the Arab world to date.

While I did not find anything particularly interesting in the plot of the show, I was very interested to see that “Al-hara” translates to “Neighborhoods Gate”.

Considering the interaction with the mountain keeper, I have to wonder…

Is he the gate keeper to “the neighborhood” and is that where “the neighbors” live?

I suppose time will tell.

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