[Author’s note: I wrote this piece in Word on April 4th, and made the decision to wait a few days to post this here.]
I had a dream last night (night of April 3rd) that I felt was a tad auspicious, and a bit worth noting. It could be nothing – a spec of cheese, to quote Ebenezer Scrooge – or perhaps I’m watching too much SyFy Channel… but typically, when I have a dream of this nature, there tends to be more “to it”. So this is what came through:
I was driving, and I pulled off of a rather rural looking freeway in a hilly area, stopping for a rest at a slight overlook in a valley at what looked like a two story motor inn. The Inn had with wooden storm shutters and was a bit ratty – sun-bleached paint, etc, and it was surrounded by a small, outback convenience-type store with a gas pump. The low rolling hills surrounding the area were covered in rolling grass, and dirt and rocks, and looked rather dry and desolate – much like something you’d see in Eastern Montana, or the Dakotas, or even down here in California, going east, but this place didn’t feel to be any of those locations.
A low, thick cloud ceiling hung over the hills, casting a grayness to the ground. It looked to have been in the evening at some time, around maybe 5-6pm ish. It had the feeling of spring / early summer, and that it was gearing up to rain. It was warm out, and humid.
A small roadside crowd started to gather in the parking lot, pointing and looking out over the hills. Behind the hills, a large column of fire was erupting into the air, over and over again. I asked a guy next to me what was going on, and he said that there was a “plant” over the hill (that looked to be, maybe, a couple of miles away, judging by the enormous plume in the air) and that the plant had “blown”. I was making an assumption that it was a natural gas geyser that had lit on fire, exploding high into the air, and raging in an enormous belching and stuttering fire column. The guy was decent enough, a head full of blondish brown hair with a slight wave, wearing an outdoorsmen’s vest over a canvass shirt, sort of a traditional square jaw – very LL Bean-meets-a-geologist looking, actually.
People were pulling off the side of the road to watch this incredible display, which was gaining in volume and height. Then, the fire column stopped. The crowd in the parking lot all began to disperse, as people do, milling amongst themselves, and I got to talking with this man about the plant, the area – just light conversation you’d make with a stranger. He had told me that the plant had had problems for awhile, and now, they wouldn’t contain it. He never told me what “it” was.
Suddenly, without any noise, this MASSIVE white column of smoke erupted where the fire geyser was, and continued climbing upward – my stomach sank as I watched this thing, and it was HUGE, towering above us, even half a mile away. An echo of a “boom” finally caught up to us, as I watched the top of the column billow out into a mushroom, and I realized this enormous cloud looked just like a nuclear burst. I began shouting to everyone to get inside. (Now, I realize that being “in the house” after a nuclear explosion won’t make much difference, but the point was that in a crisis, we, as a species, apparently, want to keep our head covered.)
Anyway – my point of going inside was to beat the impending shock wave by getting inside the hotel structure, and maybe crawling underneath something that would prevent me from getting swept away by the shock wave half a mile away, traveling fast, that had not yet reached us in the several seconds we were watching the plume.
I no more got in the structure than this shockwave tore into the roadside motel, sweeping part of it away like an enormous broom and blowing the building apart. I was in a small room like a utility closet, listening to the cracking, snapping, and moaning of a building being torn apart, clamoring under an old stored teacher’s desk made of metal, from the 60’s, that had been shoved against a wall. The whole motel structure groaned and cracked as it was collapsing on itself, like it was made of balsa wood, being moved off it’s foundations and twisted apart in the shockwave. You could hear the shockwave wind roaring past the building as it wretched it around, like a thousand angry dragons.
The rumbling superheated wind finally blew past, and I crawled out of this wreckage, and turned into a woman who had had a child with her – I was suddenly calling out for my daughter, who had been separated from me in the blast. (The child was found, and I returned to being myself.) I found the guy in the twisted carnage of the “inside” of the motel, the same one that I ran into the motel with, and he, too, was covered in dust, but was okay. We decided to go outside to survey the wreckage.
As we stepped outside, the entire parking lot was dark, being “snowed on” with what looked like fine ash flakes. You could barely see ten feet in front of you as this light, fine ash poured silently from the sky. The ground had been burned clean and structures were twisted up like toys, with this fine, grey-white floating ash raining down on everything, covering it up to eight inches just in the moments after the blast. I pulled up the turtle neck I was wearing, and covered my nose and mouth, because I didn’t want to breathe in any of this radioactive ash – again, like “breathing through a turtle neck” helps, but hey, it’s a survival instinct – and I also had an awareness that whatever this ash was, it would rip up my lungs. I was blinking furiously as it was so fine that it kept getting in my eyes, and it burned. I was looking for my car, to leave, but all the cars in the lot had been twisted up, and looked like they had been scorched inside of a blast furnace.
That‘s when I woke up.
Now, here’s what I found most odd about this dream: The giant plume cloud that was reaching toward the sky was white, not full of fire, like a nuclear explosion – yet it had the immense power to mushroom at the top. The shock wave that hit the structure did not have the double-push-pull effect of a nuclear blast, which will mow over a target, and then immediately, re-mow over the target as the energy is sucked backwards, back up into the mushroom cloud. This was one HUGE enormous blast wave, containing great heat, only traveling away from the source of the explosion. And, upon going outside of the ruined structure, it was raining ash – the same kind of ash that covered the Northwest countryside after Mount St. Helens blew wide open, and I had an acute awareness not to breathe it in, or it would cut up my lungs – which is exactly what volcano ash will do, as it is, literally, floating shards of volcanic glass.
The plume and she shockwave had to have come from a volcano, or some absolutely enormous geothermal source. But why my preoccupation with nuclear fallout in the ash? Why did I see the explosion as nuclear
As I laid in my bed, wondering what he heck I had to eat the night before – I realized that I was looking at two events, that my subconscious had woven into one – a devastating geothermal explosion followed by a wickedly destructive myoplastic blast cloud filled with ash, all containing some sort of nuclear radiation poisoning. Was the plant in my dream, the one that was over the hill, a nuclear plant that was far too close to this geothermal explosion? Was this failing plant’s nuclear poisons blown clear into the air through the force of this volcano, or whatever it was, bursting right next to it?
In any case, it was bad news, because this radioactive ash was falling all over everything, and would continue falling as this huge cloud traveled along the earth.
I thought I would share this, as though I can’t pinpoint a timeframe, I can tell you that usually, when I have disaster dreams, the craziness is not that far out into the distant future. I used to dream about plane crashes two to three days before I would see them on the news. I dreamed about two trains colliding, and the location they exploded together, four weeks before I happened upon the disaster scene. However, my timeline for major events like this is a little different – I dreamed about the first war in Iraq, Desert Storm, when I was 17, and we didn’t go to war until I was 22, five years later. So who is to say. Yet the feeling around this dream was rather present.
I wish that I had some sort of land markers, to see where this was taking place. Regrettably, I do have an idea, though. I could surmise that this would take place in Japan, since they are sitting on the ring of fire with all sorts of volcanic activity – 108 active volcanoes in Japan, 30 of which are remarkably active, with an average of 15 volcanic events also including eruptions in a year. I Googled “Volcanic Activity Japan 2011”, and found a chart of active volcanoes. It was sobering to realize that a startling number of these active volcanoes are within very a short distance from the failing Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
I will say that the people in the parking lot looked western – perhaps that’s simply because a cloud of that nature would most certainly make it over to our West Coast? Perhaps that was the analogy of watching the silent explosion, from such a distance, before the faint echoed “boom” caught up to the motel.
Just make sure that you have a turtle neck handy, because apparently – it protects a person from 1) Radiation, and 2) Volcanic ash.