My first dream of Lily Dale was before I consciously knew of its existence.  Around the age of 8-10, I had a recurring dream of standing on a tree stump in a forest in a long pink Victorian dress.  The dress was mucky at the bottom.  My hair a mess and fallen from the tight braids that I had begun the day with.  As I stand on the tree stump, I am aware of “people” of all around me.  Those standing in front are the community I knew and loved, and those beside and behind were the ones that loved them.  The ones to my back and side were faded, as though they could walk through the hundreds of towering trees that hugged us in close.
My dream-self was playing a game of telephone.  It was similar to the game that  I had played at camp and girl guides so many times in my waking life.  That was how I explained what I was doing when I would wake.  I was playing telephone with the pioneer people.  The faded people would tell me things and I would share the message with the grown ups.  I did not quite understand the deeper meaning behind the game at the time, but as the years followed and I began working with my mediumship, that piece to the puzzle fell into place.
The dream ended the same each time.  My dream-self saying “thank you” and with bent knees a big jump to the ground and then running off to play.  A lady’s voice, who I would assume to be my Momma, would holler in a playful but exhausted tone after me to “pick up my skirt”.  I would wake, not really understanding the dream and excited to go back again when I next slept.
I have only shared this dream a handful of times over the past 40ish years.  The first was to a lady at the East Hamilton Spiritualist Church in my early 20’s.  It was following an “all message” service during fellowship after.  The conversation was about dreams that feel so real we could taste them.  The dream of the girl on the tree stump came to mind instantly and I was surprised to see the lady’s mouth drop open as I shared my experience.
“Have you ever been to Lily Dale? ” , she asked.  I said that I had not and asked what it was.  “Well, maybe not in this lifetime and you really need to go there.”  I said that I would look into it and the conversation went back to the group and other topics.  As I was leaving, the lady approached me and said that some of them were going to Lily Dale that upcoming weekend and that I should come along.  I was surprised by how quickly my heart screamed “yes!”, but the reality of being a young single mom getting ready to move to North Bay to go to university did not support running away for the weekend.  Although my soul ached, I declined and promised I would look into going another time.
As it does sometimes in this human experience, life got in the way of this promise.  I probably would have forgotten all about it had the dream not popped in from time to time to remind me and call me to the tree stump in the woods.  It would not be until my late 30’s before i would finally visit Lily Dale.
It was “off season”, in the warmth of June.  There were no services happening, or agenda to follow, so I wandered.  I found the gazebo and enjoyed a quiet snack.  I sat in the peace of the boathouse and walked along the quiet streets filled with Victorian homes as unique as their inhabitants.  And near the end of the day, I entered the path of the Leolyn Woods.  It felt like stepping into a magical storybook, almost as though it was not really there.  I hugged some trees along the way, listened to the birds and the sway of the tall trees, past some wooded benches…and then I saw the “Inspiration Stump”.  It was not as fresh as it was in the dream.  There were no worries about slivers as it had long been encased in cement to hold its integrity.  However, after all of those years, the dream made sense and I understood that I was being called home.
Sam Black
error: Content is protected !!