This morning in my dream I travelled in a car with my husband from the school where our daughters attended a holiday camp of sorts. We were sitting in the middle of the car, a stretch station wagon, and behind us sat two rows of school girls, five in the first row and three in the back. Along with the driver, a teacher, we made up nine in all.
The trip home seemed precarious. I held onto a thin strand of something, a piece of string with a knob, that seemed to be the only thing connecting the front of the car and the driver to the rest of us in the back. If I had let go I imagined the body of the car and all eight passengers, including me and my husband, would be left stranded, unable to move, while the driver took off in the front of the car. Split down the middle.
In spite of it all we made it back to the school. We had left our groceries in the car and my husband went off to have a rest while I stayed near to one of the other holiday cottages with my youngest daughter. We sorted beads and bits of jewellery.
At one stage I went inside the house of a writing friend and had to climb over a couch and bench top to get to the door as I was leaving. In doing so I upended a bowl of chrysanthemums.
The man who shared the house with my friend helped me to pick up the flowers and return them to the vase. 'What do they mean for you,' he asked in a Dutch accent.
‘Of family,’ I said. It was the first word that had come to mind. Chrysanthemums reminded me of my family. All those long stems and colourful heads.