What if you met your perfect partner in a dream, and when you agreed to meet in reality, found yourselves immersed in the dramas of a bygone era? William and Rachel, two young people, met in a dream in another time and place. They come from very different social backgrounds with different beliefs and expectations, and together they must confront their challenges and lessons as they try to survive a disastrous flood in the early colony of New South Wales in 1806.
Before they can create the future they wish to share, they must endure the ordeal that has thrust them together in a remote river valley. To survive, they have to learn to trust and rely on each other and come to terms with the differences in their beliefs and backgrounds. They also have to embrace their dreams consciously.
Can they find a common sense of purpose from within their dreams to create a plan for the future and put it into effect? And, can they share that vision with others to help forge the brave new reality that beckons us all from The Dreaming?
|Publisher:||Balboa Press Australia|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.93(d)|
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We Share a Dream
By Allan Sankirtan
Balboa PressCopyright © 2015 Allan Sankirtan
All rights reserved.
Rachel woke with a start. Something was wrong, hopelessly wrong. She could hear a dull rumbling, almost a roar. She thought she could hear voices in the distance. Frantic voices screaming for help—voices that echoed in her mind, urging her to do something now. Was it her imagination? Was it just a dream? She shook herself, rolled out of bed and slipped her day dress on over her undergarments, fastening her belt around her waist.
Rachel had barely taken two steps toward the door when she realised she was in dire trouble. She was walking barefoot in the water—smelly brown water. Frantically, she shook Thomas, her housemate, awake.
'Get up, Thomas. There is water in the hut. Get Harold and get ready to leave. I'm just going outside to see what is happening.'
Thomas drowsily opened his eyes. 'What's up, Rachel? It's still early. The sun is not even up. What do you mean there is water in the hut? You must be dreaming. The river can't have come up that much in just one night. Come on ... Come back to bed. I'm sure you must be dreaming.'
'Get up now, Thomas,' Rachel insisted, dragging him out of the bed. 'See for yourself! Then tell me I'm still dreaming.'
Rachel turned to open the door of the slab hut. She greeted a drab grey-brown dawn, the muddy water blending murkily into the pre-dawn grey. The sky was a dense carpet of dark grey-black cloud. The air seemed to exude liquid, and every surface she touched was wet.
Rachel cursed the rain. This season was by far the wettest she had ever experienced in her short, but event-filled life. She had never seen a flood of this size, and it took some time to realise what she was witnessing.
As Rachel tried to comprehend the scene of panic and desperation before her, a cold chill swept up her spine as she remembered something from her dream. Except this wasn't a dream. She was a participant. She was ankle deep in it.
Oh no, she thought. The water is still coming up. We have to get out of here. We have to get somewhere to safety—somewhere high—somewhere above the flood.
Rachel screamed. 'Get up now, Thomas. Get Harold. We have to get out of here and get to higher ground. Now ...!'
Thomas pulled on his trousers and shirt, and at Rachel's insistence went to the door. 'There's nowhere to go that's higher than this. We'll have to climb on the roof and wait for the floodwater to go down.' He pushed Rachel toward the makeshift ladder leaning on the barn door. 'Apart from the trees, that's the highest place on the farm. Get up there. I'll pass Harold up to you.'
Rachel climbed the rickety ladder and scrambled onto the thatched roof, reaching beneath the thatch and tenuously grabbing hold of the slender branches tied to the roof beams. Thomas returned, handing Harold up to her. 'I'll be back in a moment,' he mumbled. 'I go and see if the animals are alright.'
Rachel grabbed Harold and dragged him onto the roof beside her.
'Be careful,' she warned as he disappeared into the misty rain. 'If the water is already up to the hut, it might be too late to save the animals.'
It was the last thing she said to him.CHAPTER 2
It was late morning now, approaching midday. The water was still rising and had now reached the roofline. Rachel could feel the flimsy slab hut shaking perilously and swaying in the current.
This situation can't last much longer. If the water keeps rising, the hut will be washed away, she thought to herself. Rachel trembled at the realisation that no one could help her. Thomas had not returned. She shivered, partly with fear as she clutched Harold closer and inched up the roof away from the swirling floodwater.
Rachel closed her eyes and breathed slowly as she attempted to calm herself and relax. I need a plan, she thought. I have to survive. She blinked her eyes, straining to focus on a blurry shape nearby. As the image sharpened, she became aware of a young man about an arms-length before her.
"Take my hand, Rachel," he invited. "There is nothing to be afraid of. Do you see this slab of timber with the big iron ring and the door attached to it?"
"When your house starts to break up and float away in the floodwater, grab hold of it and don't let go. I'll bring a boat and help you. I promise."
Rachel blinked her eyes again. Where did that thought come from? Her hand felt warm from where he had touched her. She touched her face to see if she could still feel it.
Rachel was feeling quite detached from the chaotic scene unfolding around her now. She was watching herself clinging on to Harold and the roof as if she were an interested bystander. The water continued to rise, but she seemed to have lost all sense of time. Curiously, she was no longer concerned. Something in her knew she would survive. Perhaps that nice young man will come and help me, just as he promised, she thought. I wonder where he is from. I've not seen him here in the Colony before.
As the rising water neared the roofline, the whole building began to twist. One corner dipped perilously and water surged across the thatching. The south wall went first, and without support, the hut quickly tore itself apart. Once freed, the roof floated away, the churning current twisting it and pulling it under.
Then, there it was. From the corner of her eye, Rachel saw a slab of timber approaching. 'Hold me tight, Harold,' she called. 'Whatever happens, try to hold on to me and try to stay afloat.'
Grasping the boy firmly by the hand, Rachel flung herself toward the iron hoop in the floating timber slab. Somehow, she was aided by the fury of the river as it rotated the roof, propelling her and the boy toward the timber slab.
Rachel grabbed for the ring, and just managed to cling to it, but watched in horror as Harold was swept from her side. She reached desperately for him, but he disappeared under the water. For several minutes, she groped in vain in the muddy water, calling him and trying to reach for him with her free hand.
After several frantic moments grasping and feeling for Harold, Rachel finally realised the truth of what had just happened. She began to sob, but she couldn't let go of the iron ring. She dragged herself as far out of the water as she could. Hold on tight and don't let go, she thought to herself. That young man said he would come and get me in his boat. You have to stay afloat and keep yourself out of the water as much as you can.
Trying to avoid letting go entirely, Rachel fumbled awkwardly with the belt from around her waist. She fastened it through the iron hoop to give her something else to hold, thinking she could wrap it around her hand and arm if needed. If she changed hands occasionally and didn't get too tired, she reasoned she would have a better chance of staying afloat.
"Trust me, Rachel," spoke the same mysterious voice. "Hold tight and stay afloat. The river will carry you to place of safety. Whatever you do, don't let go or I will never find you."CHAPTER 3
In a camp further down the river, William also woke with a start. His heart was pounding and with his fever worsening, he was lathered in perspiration. His bedding felt wet and his clothes clung clammily to his skin. The day couldn't get much worse, he thought, it is just as wet inside the tent as outside. His head pounded with every beat of his heart and to make matters worse, his recurring dream had returned.
The same one that had haunted him since childhood—the one in which the young woman was being swept along by a river in flood—the one with the girl in the blue dress. The same dream that always seemed to end the same way—with both of them drowning in the same flooded river.
Outside, the wind shook the overhanging trees. Beyond the sound of the rain and the rustling branches, William thought he heard something else. There was a voice. It sounded like a young woman's voice. She was screaming out for help.
That's strange, he thought, shaking his head in disbelief. I'm sure I heard someone calling for help. It sounded like a woman's voice. How could that be? I am alone here. There is no-one for miles, up or down the river.
It had been raining continuously now for over a week. Everything was sodden and the river had been rising steadily for two days. Only yesterday, he had moved his camp up the ridge so he wouldn't be caught by the rising water. Yet, despite his proximity to the rising river, the immediacy of the drama about to unfold in his life still managed to evade him.
A few moments later, he heard the same voice calling again. This time he was quite sure it was not something he had imagined. He knew what he had heard. A cold shiver ran up his spine. Am I asleep or awake? Is this real or is it just another dream? That dream—the dream where the girl is being swept along in the flooded river.
The recurring nightmare of his childhood flashed through his mind. The dream that always seemed to end with him struggling for his life in the water—or wrestling with monstrous snakes. The one he had woken from so many times in a panic, gasping for breath and his heart racing. How many times had he dreamed of drowning while attempting to help her?
However, this wasn't any recurring nightmare. This was the nightmare that had haunted his youth—the dream that had stirred him to leave India three years earlier. The same dream that had shaped his career, taking him two and a half times around the world on a restless search for her. In the last six months, he had been shipwrecked again, bringing him face to face with the possibility of death at least three times.
William pinched himself to see whether he was awake or asleep. He stooped to pick up a handful of muddy earth, raising it to his nostrils.
Usually, you don't smell things in dreams, he thought.
He drew in the musty smell of wet earth.
Perhaps it's more than a dream.
The full realisation of his present situation suddenly dawned on him. Perhaps it wasn't just his imagination or a dream. A cold shiver ran up and down his spine.
The words flooded river, echoed through his thoughts. Whirlpools and eddies formed in his mind and he watched as they were swept along in a flooded river. In a moment of crystal clarity, he saw the image of a young woman clutching a small boy. She was reaching out for a slab of floating timber as her house broke apart and she was swept away.
The Hawkesbury River is in flood, he realised, just like the river in my dream.CHAPTER 4
A Flooded View
William took his spyglass and raced to the edge of the camp where an overhanging rock gave him a good view of the river upstream. There, before his eyes, clinging to a makeshift raft, just half a mile away and close to the far bank, his recurring nightmare was being played out before him.
His dream was alive and he was an active participant.
As he watched, a strong sense of déjà vu gripped him again. In his mind, all the possible outcomes he had dreamed before rippled through his consciousness.
'Oh no ...!' William cried as he took in the significance of the reality unfolding before his eyes. 'The girl in the flooded river—she is more than a symbol in a dream. She's real ...'
William knew exactly what he had to do now. He had dreamed this dream many, many times.
'Not this time,' he shouted in defiance to the heavens above, a desperate call to an unseen god. 'This time I win. This time, we both survive.'
I'll need a few things, William thought, and scampering back to his tent, grabbed his oilskin coat and a spare coil of rope, throwing them into the bow of the skiff.
Damn, he thought, running his hand over the timbers near the bow. These timbers have sprung more than I thought. I'll need a baler.
William ran back to the fireplace and retrieved the billy he used to make tea. 'This will have to do,' he mumbled under his breath.
As he turned, on an impulse, he picked up a sharp knife lying beside the fire, quickly slashing the ropes fixing a small canvas shelter beside his tent.
This tarp may be handy, he thought. If necessary, I can use it to arrest the leak.
He folded the tarp roughly in quarters, ran back to the skiff and threw his booty into the bow.
His preparations made, William scanned the river looking for his quarry.
'Hold on! I'll be with you in just a few moments,' William shouted.
This is not the sturdiest craft for the task, he thought, especially with that sprung timber near the bow. But, better than having no boat at all.
As William deftly pushed the small dinghy into the calmer water near the shore, the light seemed gloomier. The sky was dripping grey and his mind was uneasy. He knew the power of rushing water all too well. Memories of the various scenarios of this life or death drama flashed through his mind again.
The rescue was going to take some juggling. He would need to keep the bow high, to keep the sprung timbers above the water line as much as possible. However, that meant the risk of capsizing, with water coming over the stern. Periodically, he would have to cast his fate to the river while he stopped rowing to bale.
Perhaps the girl can bale while I row, he thought.
Taking the oars in his hands, William drew in a deep breath. He had been in many worse situations—much worse than this. To William, being in a boat was all in a day's work—no harder than eating a piece of cake or taking a walk in the park.
However, being in a leaky boat in a raging river in flood was different. This would be no summer afternoon stroll in the park. This was now a matter of life or death—if things went wrong, his. And if that were to be the outcome, he would never see his beloved family in England again.
Excerpted from We Share a Dream by Allan Sankirtan. Copyright © 2015 Allan Sankirtan. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
I Dreamed in a Dream, xi,
Fast-Rising Water, 1,
Swept Away, 3,
Déjà Vu, 5,
A Flooded View, 7,
A Leaky Boat, 9,
Snatched From the Jaws of Death, 11,
We Met Within a Dream, 13,
A Crystal Dream, 16,
Not Just a Dream, 20,
Kindling Flame, 23,
Clothes Fit For a Princess, 28,
Matters of Convenience, 31,
Matters of Life and Death, 35,
A Little Family History, 37,
Somewhere to Settle Down, 41,
A Growing Sense of Danger, 43,
A Rather Clumsy Dance, 46,
Spiral Free Fall, 48,
The Need for a Plan, 52,
Seen Through the Spyglass, 56,
In One Possibility, 59,
It Is All In the Water, 63,
Back From the Future, 65,
Preparing for the Worst, 69,
A Hasty Departure, 73,
A Bush Trail, 76,
A Home Away From Home, 80,
More of Rachel's Story, 85,
Something in Common, 90,
More Pieces of the Puzzle, 94,
A Sailor's Life, 98,
North by North-West, 102,
Is It Really Different?, 105,
What Else Do You Remember?, 109,
A Romantic at Heart, 115,
A Recurring Dream, 118,
A New Way of Thinking, 120,
Shadows of Regret, 125,
Return to Eden, 128,
Unashamed To Ask, 132,
Snakes Alive, 136,
It Won't Take Long, 140,
A Glimpse of Alternate Possibilities, 143,
A Drunken Sailor, 147,
A Forgotten Warning, 152,
Sort of Timeless, 156,
A New Perspective, 161,
Transient Qualities, 166,
A Holographic View, 169,
Out In the Open, 172,
The Children of the Future, 177,
An Invitation to Treat, 184,
A Need to Sort Things Out, 187,
Delegated Responsibilities, 196,
Twilight Transition, 201,
In Another Dream, 204,
In a Dream Within a Dream, 208,
The Perfect Herbal Remedy, 212,
On Any Other Day, 217,
A Welcome Break, 222,
Fever Pitch, 224,
Future Possibilities, 230,
A Vision Splendid, 236,
Lizard Dreaming, 241,
A Good Time to Start, 245,
Equal Portions, 248,
We Are All In the Same Boat, 254,
A Moment of Shared Tenderness, 256,
A Downhill Walk, 259,
The Devil's Horns, 262,
Another Way Out, 266,
Too Close For Comfort, 269,
Twilight Meditation, 274,
Clear, Sparkling Water, 280,
Bold New Experiments, 283,
The Power to Change Things, 287,
The Stolen Light of the Moon, 290,
Seven Sisters, 294,
Sticky Business, 298,
The Search Begins, 301,
Tonight's Dinner, 306,
Tea for Two, 309,
Down From the Trees, 311,
Back to the Water, 315,
Bush Tucker, 318,
A Sticky Situation, 321,
Running Repairs, 325,
A Journey Amongst Stars, 329,
The Crystal City Revisited, 331,
A Matter of Trust, 333,
Maritime Misadventures, 336,
Forgotten Memories, 338,
In a Dream Within a Dream, 346,
The Null Alternative, 349,
A Summer Holiday, 356,
More Plans for the Future, 359,
Future Options, 364,
Unlimited Access, 370,
A Stormy Night Revisited, 373,
Other Places and Other Times, 378,
Back to Reality, 382,
Morning Greeting, 384,
An Alternative Beginning, 385,
Where Should We Begin, 389,
Dream Interpretation Template, 393,
Life Pattern Interpretation Template, 394,
About the Author, 396,
Other Works by the Author, 397,
Further Reading, 398,
What Other Readers Have Said, 400,