Does My House Dream?

The other night I woke up to some strange noises. They weren’t all that loud, but loud enough that they disturbed my sleep. At first I figured my cats were playing around, but I soon discovered they were all sleeping soundly in various spots. So I tip-toed around to see if the doors were locked or if something had been knocked over. Everything seemed in perfect order. Then I heard it again.

I tried to determine where it was coming from but it was a fleeting sound, barely audible. I sat on the steps going back upstairs and waited for it to happen again. It didn’t take long before I heard it once more. It was coming from nowhere but everywhere. I didn’t know where to go to get closer to the sound as it seemed it was already near me but was still coming from somewhere else in the house. The sound came in irregular intervals—-kind of a hum, a cough, a snicker sound. After a while everything was quiet.

As I went back to bed, I remembered how I would watch one of my little cats make noises while she slept, dreaming about catching a mouse probably, and I wondered if my house was dreaming just then. Perhaps it was dreaming about a new coat of paint somewhere or how hard it had worked to keep us warm this winter. Maybe it was dreaming about playing with our cats, or about the recent group of students I had in our home.

I like to think houses only dream about happy things. They don’t stay awake at night worrying about stuff like the age of their shingles or the condition of the water heater. They don’t dream about how clear their corners are. No, houses dream about joyful events and quiet, tender moments. They’re at their best when they can hold an imprint of a spectacular occurrence—-and that’s what they dream about at night.

A few times since that night, I’ve heard those noises again. It’s comforting to know the house feels confident about engaging in its own dreams. I love trying to figure out what might be on its mind, who or what is the catalyst for those little sounds. Maybe my house is dreaming about me. Maybe my house is remembering funny little stories about the cats, or maybe it’s dreaming about the back garden. Maybe I should stop eating chocolate before I go to bed!