“We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home,
but not quite knowing what or where home is.
We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams,
or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange,
sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes…”
~Madeleine L’Engle

(Image: Saudade (1899), by Almeida Júnior)

How often during our day…in the moment of awakening each morning…in a moment of silence do we feel the vague sadness that something is missing…something we know to be ours…can’t quite name it…as it stays just at the edge of memory?

There is no English equivalent that captures all that is felt in the Portuguese and Galician word ‘saudade.’ It is a deeply felt state of longing…the pain of missing something or someone…the feeling of being separated from whom we used to be connected.

It can rise in us as we evoke it…or it can rise in a moment of unexplained tears. Who is this object of our longing? How did we come to be separated? Why do so many of us carry this ineffable ache in our hearts?

Our dreams know the answers to these questions. They know how to return to us a lost love…a flickering memory of having been deeply loved…the something and someone who is personally and intimately ours.

Each night our dreams offer a remembering…a reunion with what we thought was lost to us forever…what we forgot was ever ours. What has been missing returns. What stays at the edge of memory is remembered…

Mary Jo Heyen is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at www.maryjoheyen.com or  www.thenaturaldream.com