I have this recurring dream where I'm standing in a shallow stream. Pristine water flows past me, cooling my toes. The stream bed is the smoothest, sparkliest pink granite you've ever seen. My pants are rolled up and I'm leaning over, hands underwater, feeling the flow. I pick up a beautiful pink stone. I look at it and the mica shines in the sunlight. When I look again, it's still a pink stone, but it's in the shape of a tooth and I realize that I have lost one.
This stream actually exists, though there's no pink granite, but instead fine, sparkly sand. It runs through Helen, Georgia, unless I'm completely misremembering.
When I was a kid, my grandparents would take me on weekend trips to the Smoky Mountains. We'd go to Helen, or to Bryson City, North Carolina, or wherever. We'd drive up to see the leaves in the fall, or to some small town festival in the spring. Most often, we'd go wherever there was an open-air Gospel singing going on. My grandparents were big fans of a Sunday morning show called Gospel Singing Jubilee. My grandmother loved The Inspirations, The Florida Boys, The Happy Goodmans, and anyone else who sang old time Southern Gospel. She kept a picture frame with a photo of The Inspirations on her dresser, along with a picture of her brother dressed in his military uniform. Sometimes we'd play her Gospel records in the living room, singing together and clapping in time to the music.
One day when I was around 6 years old, we were in Helen, strolling through the shops. My grandmother was buying some souvenir or other and I noticed one of those little boxes that holds those birthstone rings by the cash register. I had to have one. I loved my little topaz ring - for about five minutes. Soon after, I waded into the middle of that shallow stream to cool off, leaned over to touch the fine sand, and watched my new topaz ring float right off my finger. I looked and looked for it, but it was a gold band with a yellowy-brown stone - pretty much the same color as the sparkling sand. It was gone. I asked for another - it seemed so unfair to lose it like that and I knew it was cheap - but they refused. My grandparents didn't reward carelessness.
I've long wondered about the origins of my dream. I recognized the stream and the idea of a loss occurring there, but I couldn't understand - why a tooth? Looking up losing one's teeth at an online dream dictionary, it mentioned health problems on the horizon and having your words coming back to bite you in the butt. I don't put much stock in dream dictionaries.
Last night I realized that the key is the color pink and that the dream doesn't signify one loss, but two.
On another trip to the mountains, my grandparents bought me some cotton candy from a street vendor, and at the first bite something felt strange. When I looked at the pink spun sugar, I realized there was a tooth in it. It was one of my front teeth - I hadn't even realized it was loose. That was the easiest tooth I ever lost, no pain and no blood. We laughed about it and I wrapped it in one of Grandmama's silver Juicy Fruit wrappers to take home and put under my pillow.
Seems so simple now: pink cotton candy = pink granite. Mystery solved. I wonder now if I'll ever bother to have the dream again. Doubt it.
Come back tomorrow for my first giveway - my favorite book from when I was a kid...