Last night I didn’t dream I went to Manderley again. Maybe because I’ve never been there.
I did dream of Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, though. Probably because we just jaunted there this past weekend.
It’s been on my list of haunted places I want to jaunt to in Tennessee. This weekend turned out to be a perfect one to go. The brutally hot weather that we, along with a majority of the rest of the country, have endured all summer decided to give us a reprieve. So did the humidity. It was a blue sky, sunshiny, pleasant day to take a drive and explore new terrain.
Loretta Lynn’s Ranch is about an hour drive from Nashville heading west on I-40. Tennessee is a gorgeous state. Just about anywhere you go, you’re guaranteed to be treated to amazing scenery. Our jaunt to Hurricane Mills, where Loretta Lynn’s haunted plantation home resides, was no exception.
I was not prepared to be thoroughly enchanted with Loretta Lynn’s property. Her ranch and all the buildings comprising it are laid out so nicely, and kept up so neatly. I have done nothing but rave about the place to anyone who will listen the past few days.
As I mentioned at the start of the post, last night I dreamt of her ranch. Specifically, I dreamt about an enormous Indian statue standing sentinel on the hill behind the replica of her Butcher Holler childhood home and near the Song Shack.
THE BIG INDIAN
First off, I guess the politically correct terminology for the statue would be Native American. Please bear with me. I am ignoring convention and calling it an Indian. (When I grew up, Indians were Indians and Cowboys were Cowboys and it’s a hard habit to break trying to retrain myself to call something by a PC name.)
At any rate, I was intrigued by it. We took the tour of the home (both the Butcher Holler replica and the plantation) and the simulation of the coal mine, as well as did the self-guided Coal Miner’s Daughter museum tour. No mention was made about the Indian. I didn’t think to ask. I saw a plaque at it’s feet and figured I could always go read what it said.
Trouble was, I never did.
Honestly, I don’t know that I could’ve anyway. You see, I have this thing (call it a fear) of Indian statues.
MY INDIAN STATUE PHOBIA
I hadn’t thought about, or had to face, my fear in years. Growing up out West, I often did. It more had to do with wooden Indians. If there was one outside a store in some town we were visiting, forget it. You would not get me to walk past it.
As I got older, the fear of making a fool out of myself screaming in terror as I fled from a wooden Indian outweighed my fear of them. I learned to walk past them. Hurriedly.
I first spotted the gynormous Indian on the hill as we drove into the Western Town area to park. My breath caught in my throat. That old feeling of terror I hand’t known in years squirmed in my belly.
I took a few deep breaths and quickly guided us to the parking lot –although I’ll admit I glanced in the rear view a time or two to make sure the statue hadn’t suddenly come to life.
THE DREAM OF “INDIAN JOE”
In my dream, I was standing in the street looking up at the statue. My aunt, who passed a couple of years ago, whispered in my ear, “His name is Joe and he has a message for you. Don’t be afraid.”
Joe is actually the name of my uncle, my departed aunt’s husband. In my dream it registered that it was odd the Indian shared that name.
The Indian was not menacing or scary in my dream. He didn’t talk. He talk didn’t move. Yet he communicated with me just the same.
He conveyed something to the effect: “Now you know how we felt.”
He was referring to all the arguments people are having over illegal immigrants and opposition to mosques being built in this country. As he imparted to me in his silent dream way, “Most people who call themselves Americans are of immigrant descent. Just because there weren’t official laws during some of the immigrations doesn’t mean it was “legal” either. They’re just as guilty as those they have so much disdain for. And those who disrespected our spiritual practices are the worst of all.”
It all made sense in the dream. I could even feel the hurt in his heart. Native Americans (I will call them that now) never asked for “White Men” to “invade” their lands. Yet we did. And we overpowered them and took by force what we felt entitled to. Worse, many didn’t respect their religious practices and instead assumed others were better and they must accept them.
In my dream I was all fired up. I had plans to create a cover photo for my Facebook page conveying Indians Joe’s words and sentiments. In the dream it seemed like a vitally important activity. But I woke up before I could get to it.
When I woke up, I felt both enlightened and haunted, but I didn’t feel inspired to do what I was going to do in the dream. Even if it still felt as pressing, my waking mind has no idea how to create a Facebook cover photo that would convey all of Indian Joe’s feelings and sentiments.
But as the day has worn on, the memory of the Indian Joe dream has not faded. I decided to write about it. Maybe that will make it stop haunting me. And even though he was not menacing, hopefully Indian Joe won’t feel it necessary to come visit again.
Although, if he has any wisdom about winning lottery numbers, I could put a few million dollars to good use.