Apparently true love is staged in the North End, Boston; at least, according to my childhood dream. For a long time, the only vision of love I held was from a strange dream I had when I was six. I can see the street, the sun setting, a golden summer glow casting long shadows around the corners, the way sunsets in cities do. My family and I step out of an Italian restaurant, my small hands clutching a bag of cannoli wrapped in white paper. A young girl with beautiful dark brown hair and eyes is walking down the sidewalk towards me. She has a perfectly fitted white wedding dress on. Despite how strange it should be to see a child wearing such an extravagant dress, the beauty of the lace and pure white fabric seemed to suit her perfectly.
She walks up and takes hold of my hand: “I love you, I will marry you,” she says directly staring into my eyes. At first my chest pounds with joy and awe. I am elated. Then my rational self comes back to me, “Who is this girl?!” I try to pull my hands away, she holds on tight. She begins pulling me down the street. Her force like a raging river, unstoppable. I glide down the street at incredible speed, watching the city fade away.
It took a few decades before I would fully understand this bizarre love-nightmare. Like staring at one small fragment of blurred colors, it was only after I became an adult, married with children, that I could step back and see the magnificent painting which this dream was a piece of. Every event in my life that has happened since–the baffling coincidences, intricate events, synchronistic meetings could only mean this dream was placed Divinely into my small childhood consciousness. The dream was perhaps the seed to an epic journey, or just a motif of a story already unfolding.
Despite my Boston-themed love story, I did not grow up there. I was born outside Boston and perhaps at a much younger age, we did take a family outing to grab cannoli in the North End. Instead, I grew up tucked away in a deep wooded island in the Pacific Northwest. I still live there now with my two boys and my wife. Let me by more specific–my Italian wife with beautiful dark brown hair and eyes.
Since the night of the dream, the girl’s image kept showing up like an old friend who checks up on you from time to time. One memorable instance was in college. I rented a house, with décor deeply seated in the 70’s, shared with five roommates. I woke one morning to a loud knocking on my door. One roomie, in her 30’s, was ready to take me to a Reiki circle. She had assumed I was coming, yet, I had not seen the invite, for if I had, I would have conveniently “had other plans.” Ex-hippies holding their hands over one another was not what I considered to be remotely cool. With no excuse, I caved, and ended up in a circle of Ex-Hippies holding their hands over one another.
One particular woman claimed she was a psychic, yet she also admitted to having a gambling problem. This did not booster my sense of confidence in her abilities. She put her hands up to my chest and immediately pulled them back, as if I had electrically shocked her.
“Wow!” she said mesmerized, “I see you falling in-love with an older woman.
Great, I thought to myself. This lady is hitting on me.
“She has dark brown hair and brown eyes.” I noticed this woman had bright blonde hair, so I sighed with relief. Yet, I was also stunned, because I knew whom she saw.
The truth is, most of my life I had resisted the pull of a bigger force. The Universe was like that family member that keeps dropping hints for years, then finally, can’t take it any longer, and has an outburst of exacerbated truth.
Even with cosmic dreams, spiritual experience and my encounter with the psychic ex-gambler, I still felt deniability was the most obvious course. Then I could stay relatively normal (says the man who now speaks to spirits nightly.) Hence, when I met true love in my Bostonian dream, I tried to cling on to an old familiar identity, as fate dragged me to Love.
When I met my wife Elisa, three major things happened which shook my Soul awake. First, I discovered this woman was real–I had not been imagining her all these years! Second, I could no longer deny, from the constant images and messages I received, there was a real spiritual force guiding my life. The Divine exists. And third, perhaps the deepest message, through this simultaneous meeting of someone I have fallen deeply in-love with and admitting there is a Divine, that they were somehow intertwined and inseparable.
What Elisa and I have learned is that the line becomes very thin. Love and Divinity becomes one and the same. We can not only see and find Divinity everywhere but we can love Divinity within anyone. The spiritual path is how.