THEY ask me the meaning of my dreams. Why ask me? Because I print a dream must I also append a meaning? A dream is a thought, sometimes only the casket that encloses the thought, as a flower encloses the perfume. One does not ask the meaning of a scent, or put into black and white, the why and the wherefore of the faint delicate perfume of the night scented stock. To put a meaning to a dream, were to explain as a mere matter of fact the flight of a butterfly, or the first spring notes of a starling. Elusive, beautiful, the soul of the moment to those who seek. We find their meaning in the spirit of the soul that is within us. Each one for himself must find the perfume that he loves, the soul of the dream that responds to his soul's expectation. To me it is a breath of delight from many thoughts, and the meaning lies hid in my heart; others will read as they find need in their own heart, the meaning will come at their wishing, like the perfume that comes from the unseen breath of the heart of a wood. Let each for himself find the flower of his thought. Let each for himself clothe the green stems with fragrance, sing in the sunshine as the rhythm delights them, or alas, find no pleasure, no joy, because for them the dreams have no meaning.
To me they appear but as dreams of emotion, like the treasures in my locked inlaid box of scents, sweet and full of meaning if the box be unlocked, and each delicate perfume be brought from its crystal bottle separately and by itself; but if all the bottles be opened, and the scents smelt one after the other, the pleasure is gone, the soul of each is lost, and the name and meaning of each cannot be given: as each different flower is lost in the sense of the whole. Each by itself has a name, and a distinct perfume, but without pause or thought, the soul of the scent is lost, and Spanish sweet pea, and the wild rose from the hedge are but as the violet, or the old stock from the garden.
Once I read as I dreamt in a garden one sunny noon. I read in the sunshine and took no heed of passing things, when suddenly out of the depths of my reading I became aware of two white butterflies, circling round my head. In all the garden for days before, I had seen no butterflies. That morning I was feeling very much alone, and a feeling of "wanting" all about me. But with the circling sweep of the butterflies, came a sense of happiness, of security, of welfare, that came with the moment. I did not see where the butterflies went to, but they had left their message. Can one ascribe a meaning to such a dream unless one gathers into oneself the sense of sweetness, and well being, that came with the beautiful dream of white butterflies in that garden at noon?