It is usual, while away out in the wilderness, for thoughts about issues from home or work come to mind periodically, particularly during the first few days. However, I didn’t anticipate how much this would happen the other way around back at home. For the first few days after returning home I found that my subconscious was frequently considering how to tackle the next rapid, or manage the gear in my raft, or various other issues that I might face on a Franklin River rafting expedition.
On the first night back in my own bed I had a rather bizarre dream. My eyes must have been half open, as the dream was derived from what I could see and hear in the bedroom around me, combined with my ongoing subconscious thoughts about rafting the Franklin River. It was a warm night and the bedroom window and blind were open, with the moonlight making shadows on the walls and the floor. I was lying with my face looking over the edge of the bed.
I thought I was in the rain forest and could clearly see a tangle of moss and lichen covered tree trunks and branches criss-crossing in such a way that it would be very difficult to walk through, let alone to get a raft through it. I was trying to figure out if I should paddle, line the boat or portage the gear through here. Then I looked down through the tangle of branches and noticed how flat and smooth the surface was beneath the branches, and couldn’t figure out whether it was the ground or the river. What ever the case, how on earth was I going to get my raft through this tangle of trees?
Then an electronic alarm noise began and I became very agitated, calling out, “What’s that?!”. To my great surprise in that remote rainforest, my wife’s voice answered that it was her alarm to get up and take our toilet-training three year old daughter to the toilet. This shocked me and I was now completely confused and bewildered.
A few moments later, my wife returned and started talking again. I sat bolt upright and yelled out, “How did you get here?!”, to which she quietly explained that she was just returning from helping our daughter in the bathroom.
I sat there for a couple of minutes very confused and nearly in a state of panic. Then the trees and branches slowly dissolved into chair legs, bed posts, window panes, and their criss-crossing shadows. The flat surface beneath them could then be identified as neither the ground nor the river, but the merely the floor of my bedroom at home. I realised that I was sitting on the edge of my own bed.
It took another minute or so for my head to clear enough to fully understand that I was no longer on the Franklin River.
I was at home.
The adventure had ended.