The time the earth almost swallowed me


I was young, perhaps five or six years old. I was playing outside barefoot, the cool green grass beneath my feet, the sun in my hair. I’ve forgotten what I was playing with. It doesn’t really matter. I can tell you that terror wrapped its ugly hand around my throat as the ground started to shake. I screamed and took a step for home, but my little white house with its yellow shutters and windowsill flower boxes with red geraniums, fell into the mouth of the earth.

I screamed for my mom, but she never came. I was alone. I backed up onto the sidewalk. The cracks in the ground chased me. Fires sprang up all around me. The earth rumbled and grumbled like a hungry beast,  vibrating beneath my small legs. I started to cry. A sliver of earth shifted beneath me, jutting upward a piece of carpeted dirt. I looked down as the gap between my feet grew wider, its insides tumbling into an abyss.  Wider and wider it grew until I had nowhere to go. I fell in, screaming at the top of my lungs. Falling, falling into darkness.

And then Superboy came with Krypto, the Super Dog (do you remember them?) and rescued me.

They took me to a beautiful 2 story home with a really nice yard. My mom and dad were there, along with my brother and my dog, Gypsy.  All was okay. No one was hurt, yay Superboy and Krypto, my favorite heroes of all … that is until I discovered a plastic dinosaur that lived in my home that could make himself really big whenever anyone bullied me.

But that’s a story for another time.

****

The above was a recurring dream I had as a child. I don’t know why I dreamed of Superboy except he had a dog sidekick and who doesn’t like super dogs that fly?  I also think deep down I really like Superboy with his dark hair and blue eyes, but I digress

I’m not sure where the dream came from. I’ve never been in a real earthquake, but I know the thought of one scares the beejeebies out of me.  If I felt one in real life, I would completely freak out. To this day I am terrified of being swallowed by the earth. I can’t tell you how hard I prayed that I wouldn’t experience one when I visited San Francisco many years ago. A year almost to the day after I was there, an earthquake in San Francisco claimed 63 lives, most of them when the Oakland Bridge fell in on itself.

I know a lot of people say to me, “Well, you live in Florida. Look at all the hurricanes.”  Yes, this is true, we have horrible storms and hurricanes but there is a difference between them and earthquakes …. there usually is advanced warning with a hurricane and we can evacuate. There is no warning when the earth is going to shift. It’s like trying to run from a tsunami. Where are you going to go? I have a hollow feeling in my stomach just thinking about it.

I wonder how people in earthquake prone areas deal with the ground shaking.  Please let me know. Maybe I won’t be so fearful if I understand.

As to the recurring dream, did you have any as a child that stuck with you? If so, I’d love for you to share, too.

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6 thoughts on “The time the earth almost swallowed me

  1. I always dreamed that I was supposed to be able to fly, but I can’t remember how. I am always trying to get somewhere, but I am terrified because I keep almost running in to power lines. There are always power lines. Tons of them. Oh — sometimes I am flying so low I have to dodge cars… it’s when I veer up that I have to deal with the power lines. I guess I’m telling myself that whatever direction I take, I will always have to overcome some obstacle.

    I never got electrocuted of hit by a car in my dream… but I always struggled to keep afloat. Kinda sounds like life, doesn’t it?

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    1. As an adult, we can see the subliminal messaging. As a kid, that would be pretty scary, to always feel trapped, like there’s no way out. No matter what direction you go, something is going to get you. *shiver*. That’s an intense dream.

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  2. I thought this post would be all about using your imagination as a kid and how it’s lost in today’s society 🙂 Well, the dreams I put in 18 Things & 18 Truths are actually versions of reoccurring dreams I’ve had over the years!

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    1. OMgosh, scary and pretty cool at the same time. I can’t wait to read your last installment. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to Olga. I’m sure closing this chapter in your life and hers is difficult for you, too.

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  3. I grew up in LA, a fairly active seismic zone. If it helps, most quakes are relatively small. Often they were over before I knew they had started. Also, we had drills in school, so when they did last longer, I knew what to do for my safety.

    Also, one time I dreamed there was an earthquake during the night. It turned out my dog had jumped up on the bed with me.

    However, your dream almost sounds like a sink hole rather than an earthquake. They do have sink holes in Florida, right?

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    1. Yes they do, and there have been a lot of them lately. It scares me that my house might be sitting on one and I’d be buried alive. That happened to a guy here in Florida a couple of years ago. The house fell in the middle of the night and he was buried. The rescue people couldn’t get him out. What a horrible death. Thanks for weighing in on the earthquake thing. You know the movies, always portraying the streets jutting up and cracks widening. That’s what my dream looked like, until it just opened all the way. *shiver*. 🙂

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