It was nighttime and I was lying with my belly on a picnic blanket.
I could feel the dampness of the ground through it. On top of the Rocky Mountains, we were engulfed by the starry sky of a new moon night.
I was not alone. There was a man with me. I’d just recently met him.
He was lying partially at my side, partially on top of me, wrapping me with his big arms. I did not see his face, but I felt his warmth against mine. I’d not felt so good in ages.
We enjoyed the crickets’ songs and the freshness of the air. I felt that everything was possible. Life could be wonderful from now on.
The ground started feeling softer and softer, and then it hit my awareness that I was actually in bed.
I was asleep. It was a dream, and I could not get out of it. I was conscious of my body, but I had no control over it. The dream was so strong, my body refused to get back.
There was a moment of panic: was I going to stay paralyzed like that for the rest of my life?
I took a big breath. “Wiggle your big toe,” I told myself, and I managed to. The rest was easy, just like in the “Kill Bill” movie.
I woke up confused. It was my first morning at home after a three-month journey which ended in Boulder, Colorado. The man in my dream was someone I’d met there, but we barely talked a few times. It was weird that he was the man in this dream.
Before I embarked on my long journey, I went to a tarot reader. She was an old religious Moroccan Jew who lived in my childhood neighborhood of old, crumbling concrete buildings. Her house smelled like a mixture of black tea, mint leaves, butter cookies, and lamb stew. Her room had only enough space for her, me, and a table with a blue tablecloth that was probably as old as its owner.
The card reader slowly drew out cards from her deck, and carefully placed them on the table, while I was trying not to hold my breath with anxiousness. When the cards were laid on the table, she stared at them, pondered, and finally looked at me.
“You are going to meet your man on this trip, and you are going to have a child with him,” she told me with conviction, her wrinkled old eyes piercing mine with kindness.
I left her house floating with happiness. I was finally going to meet my love. I was finally going to have a child. I was going to have the family I’d been dreaming about my whole life.
I was already 40.
However, I came back from my long trip as single as I was when I left my home in Israel.
How could I not?
Imagine me sitting at an ayurvedic restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Two people were singing and playing the guitar. A few people sat around, mostly on their own, with their laptops, just like me. But the laptop was only there to make me feel comfortable. My eyes were constantly searching for the man who would fulfill the prophecy.
Later, in the best coffee place in Boulder, a man lowered his sunglasses to direct his eyes at me. We had a nice conversation. I thought he could be the one, only to find out he already had a girlfriend.
A friend invited me to go with him to a bluegrass festival. Obviously, I was certain that he was the love of my life, only to find out his offer was strictly friendly.
When I got back to my place, it was just walls, furniture, and pictures. The person who sublet my apartment during my absence had killed my plants. My once cozy home felt useless, paralyzed, and lifeless. Just like the card reader’s prediction.
After a hot shower, laying in my own bed, I felt a smidge better. But when I woke up from my dream, from my panic, I felt awake and alive in a way I’ve never felt before.
I knew the dream was not about this specific man. It was about feeling loved, about feeling that I deserved to be loved.
I’d never believed that I could be loved, because until then, I’d never felt this way. My previous relationships never felt nourishing, supporting, fulfilling, and expanding, like the love I experienced in my dream.
The card reader’s prophecy might have ruined my chances of finding love on that specific trip, but it also gave me a huge gift. It rewired my brain:
The fact that I’d never felt deeply loved did not mean that things couldn’t change. In truth, I was already loved. I was already cared for, not by a man, but by the sky, the stars, the damp earth, the mountains, and the crickets.
I went on two more yoga trips to the United States the following year. This time, I wanted to let the future unfold. I still wanted to find love, but I knew my happiness and my feeling of being loved were not dependent on it.
On the second trip, four days after I arrived at San Francisco, at a yoga workshop, I met someone.
He was a student in a yoga teacher training I assisted a few months earlier in New York City, so I already knew him. During the week of the workshop, we fell in love.
Unlike all my previous love affairs, this time I knew how love should feel.
We got married in Boulder, Colorado, four months after we’d met. Three years later, we were blessed with our son.