Dream #1: Fear of Death
The water supply was a hand-dug earthen well just outside the yard fence at the rear of the house. A path led from the back porch off the kitchen to a gate in the fence at the opposite corner from the well. Inside the yard, nearest the well at the back of the kitchen was a peach tree.
I was five years old, and in the dream, I had been sent to draw water in the dark. The soft light from the kitchen window made visible the well, the peach tree, and the path.
After filling the bucket, I turned to start back up the fence to the gate. Movement from behind the peach tree caught my eye. When I looked more closely, I found myself staring into the eyes of a huge African lion. With every step I took toward the gate the lion took one too. I looked at the distance I had to cover to get to the porch and realized it was twice the distance the lion had to go to reach me. In addition, I knew the lion was much faster. For a few seconds, I stood frozen, aware I was going to die, then decided to make a run for it anyway.
At that point, I woke up with my mother sitting beside me on the bed, wiping the sweat from my brow.
Dream #2: The Questions
After a two-year struggle with a terminal illness, my father passed away. A month after his burial I had this dream:
He and I were sitting in his living room talking as we had done so many times before. He said, “I told you I would let you know what death is like and what you can expect when your time comes.” He continued, “I am happy to say we got some of it right in our conversations, about 50%. As for the rest of it, we were way off. So, here it is.” Then for a very long time, my father proceeded to tell me in great detail what death and beyond is really like.
I awoke from the dream that was so real it took a few seconds for me to separate it from the wakefulness. I hurriedly got out of bed, went to my desk for paper and pen, and sat down ready to write every word. What had been so clear and so exciting just a few moments before had completely vanished.
Dream #3: La Puerta
When my father was nineteen, he caught an empty boxcar in the small Texas town near his parents’ farm, rode it to Mountainair, New Mexico, and worked in the bean harvest for two seasons. He then returned to his roots, and at twenty-three married the girl who became my mother. She was nineteen when I was born.
I grew up with those stories about my father’s adventures in the Manzano Mountains, the Indian ruins, and the railroad.
About three years ago, my wife Linda and I began to dream of a place where one could be laid to rest in a kinder, gentler way than we have grown used to in our fast-moving society. We searched for land along the Rio Grande corridor and found the land of our dreams at the western base of the Manzano Mountains, where Abo Canyon empties into the desert.
That dream, La Puerta Natural Burial Ground, has been a reality for just over a year now, and we are very pleased and honored that so many of you have discovered it.