It’s not very often that I’ll wake up and remember my dreams. It maybe a fleeting memory here and there, but it quickly dissipates with the first Coke Zero of the morning. But this morning, I had a particularly vivid dream I continue to remember.

First, the dream world. When we sleep, our own personal Spirits are fully awake. They drift back and forth to the Spirit Realm, they visit the physical world, and very often, interact with other Spirits in those places.  As people, our Spirits are constantly interacting, not only during our waking moments, but when our Spirits drift around as well.

Our teachings tell us about “Spirit Memory”. Those are the memories that only our Spirits have. One teaching we received in the Lodge reflected on those Spirit Memories that existed before we came to this physical world, before our birth.  At that time, our Spirits received their first instructions from the Creator and lots of advice from G’chi Anishinaabeg – the old ones.  Although we may not remember, or choose not to remember, we continue to carry that original Spirit Memory throughout life, with a refresher, now and again, when our Spirits travel in the night time.

Often our Spirit memory can be shared among others during those night time travels. My Spirit is clearly able to read your Spirit, and vice versa. Those exchanges of Spirit Memory are the visible or perceptual fragments of our dreams. If you’ve ever dreamt of being a fire fighter and you’re stepping into a blaze, chances are you’ve crossed paths with a real-life fire fighter in the Spirit Realm while you are sleeping.  If you’ve dreamt of being a Midewiwin, pow-wow emcee, who works in a high-rise above Bay Street, well you’ve probably met me in the Spirit Realm.  It’s nice knowing you!

Last night, I dreamt of fighting terrorism.  I was among many refugees, systematically being killed by militant oppressors in and around a rural airport.  It was a dark, moonlit night. Large jetliners were landing and taking off, obviously under the control of highjackers.  On board a jet plane, I slipped past my captors, opened a front cabin door and jumped down with relative safetly.

I hid from gun-wielding terrorists in some old building with others refugees were around me. We interacted with a Elder medicine man who provided us with advice, to look after the children and find our way home.  He was blind and quite disabled and we weren’t able to bring him with us.  I remember feeling proud, but remorseful for those who chose to remain behind and look after the old man.  They would eventually be found.

As I watched the events unfolding, I could see that the terrorists were not skilled pilots. The planes were taking off at very high angles, almost as slow stalling speeds. All of a sudden, I realized the make-shift air traffic control was not adequate. A witnessed an incredible, near mid-air collision at low altitude.  The airliner who dodged the departing aircraft couldn’t recover from their high-risk manouver, and quickly dipped, went vertical, and went nose down into the far woods in a fiery explosion.  It was a sickening sight.  I knew I had to get out of the area.

I disguised myself as one of the terrorists dressed as an everyday worker. Our job was to guide the children through the dark trails and roadways leading from the remote airport.  After a nerve wracking experience at the forest checkpoint, we were allowed past the gate.

Once we were free from the encampment, I freed the children and they went scurring away in the woods with other refugees towards safety. But I knew I had to get back to Garden Village to save my own life. A few of us continued into the dark trails toward the Lake.  I hid down at the dock in front of my Mom’s house with a couple of refugees with me. Many houses were already empty by the time I reach there. I felt safe because I knew the surroundings.

I led my new, yet unknown friends to safety in the trails behind my house. I spent my entire childhood on those trails, exploring, hunting and occassionally, hiding. I felt safe, with a sense of accomplishment, and a sense of service provided to my new friends.

Given what I know about the Dream World and the teachings that were given to us, I knew I had visited with, not only the victims of 9/11, but the terrorists as well.  I felt their fear for a brief moment.  I understood what it was like to be oppressed in a real way.  I witnessed these events from their own eyes, not mine.  Although they may rest in peace in the Spirt World – all of them, including the terrorists – continue to be haunted by their abrupt departure from this physical world and into the next.

With that, I will honour all of them today.  Miigwetch.