The vivid dream
Twenty eight years ago I had a very vivid dream. It was such an extraordinary dream, that when I awoke I shared it with my then husband, mother and anyone else who would listen.
It went like this:
I was sat in the window seat of an aeroplane, next to my mother. Out of the window I was looking at an island ‘just off the isle of Wight’. Covered in palm trees with crystal clear water, I told my mum it was ‘Cocos’ island, and it was paradise. I could see long haired blonde ‘hippies’ sat on rocks with their toes in the sea. Then I awoke.
Maps and globes
At this time, I had not visited Australia, and despite being a real fan of maps and globes, I had never focussed on or even looked at the Indian ocean or the far east. Pre internet, I had to search in books and my large Times Atlas to find this place, Cocos. I’d even popped into a travel agent, who could only tell me of Turks and cocos which I knew wasn’t the island in my dream.
I eventually located my dream island, ‘Cocos Keeling’ islands placed midway between Sri Lanka and Australia, a couple of inches ( on a map) left, of the also remote, Christmas Island. I ordered a travel book form my local bookshop and proceeded to find out all I could about my mysterious dream island.
We had good friends in Leyburn with a B&B and when ever in the area on business we would stay with them. Tony was an avid auction goer and had a house full of antiques and interesting objects he’d acquired from the auctions over the years. When I came to tell him of my dream ( it was my main topic of conversation at the time) I was astonished when he disappeared into his office, returning with a box. The lid had ‘Cocos (Keeling) islands’ engraved on it.
Tony saved me much heartache and research time, having spent the past few weeks since his box purchase, enquiring about it and the islands. He’d heard back from an expert on Cocos who told him of the history of the Clunies-Ross family and how the islands were now a quarantine station for Australia. There were no hotels, and only occasional b&b at the Clunies-Ross family home on Home island.
I then wrote to an artist that I somehow located. She ran painting workshops in an upturned boat. My letter was replied to enclosing photographs of her painting and snapshots of this dreamt of ‘paradise’.
Over the next ten or so years it became an obsession on finding out how I could visit. As an artist, I was hoping for an invitation to be an artist in residence. I was desperate for a reason behind my dream. I even received a jewellery box with the islands displayed on the lid as a marquetry map.
As time passed, Cocos never left me, but life took over, illness prevented me from having any hopes of travel and then my renewed health kept me busy with bees.
I was absolutely flabbergasted therefore a few months ago when I was photographed for a client by someone called ‘Clunies-Ross’. Whilst chatting, ( having forgotten temporarily their name and its importance) he mentioned his brother, a beekeeper and how he didn’t care for his honey. On asking where he kept his bees, ‘Cocos keeling’ islands made my jaw drop. I repeated his answer, surprising him that I appeared to have heard of these remote islands.
Imagine the next half an hour, filled with excited chatter about Cocos Keeling and how I dreamt about them in such detail and then researched them 28 years earlier.
Bees on Cocos
To me, and them, it was certainly a sign that I need to visit. I was connected with the beekeeping brother, his friend with cottages to rent, and my travel agent instructed to find flights to get us there.
Although transport there is much easier since it became an Australian territory, Virgin fly regularly from Perth. I did not want to fly to Perth first though, and so the more complicated and risky journey takes us to Jakarta, Christmas Island and then Cocos. We leave in January, incredibly able to catch the spawning of the red crabs on Christmas Island, and then plenty of time on Cocos to research bees, for Mr C to fish for Bone fish, and for us to do the inter island trek through the crystal clear lagoon.
I have no idea what lays in store for me, only certain that I am really meant to visit the Paradise island in my dream, and how amazing that bees yet again provide the key and connection for my actions.
I am sharing this story for a couple of reasons, firstly I hope to inspire readers to observe their dreams and look out for synchronicities in life. Although I’d always hoped to be invited to visit, like royalty, that didn’t happen, it’s costing a fare few pennies for this trip. It’s also risky as bad weather during this their cyclone season, can disrupt flights, maybe even preventing us from setting foot on Cocos after all. ( I’m not thinking about that though!)
Help with my dream
Secondly, I’d like your help please. I am learning that we don’t achieve great things alone. We are all connected and I feel that my mission on this planet is to learn and share my learnings about our connection with nature. Bees are the messengers and I feel that they’re using me as their voice. When I travel, I am finding places where the bees are healthy, the people, and bees, happy, and I want to find out what they are doing differently. We need healthy bees here and many people sadly need proof that changing our ways really will make a difference.
I am investing my time, money (and possibly life) to make this trip. I love what I do so it may seem like a holiday, it will feel like a holiday, yet I’ll be busy listening, talking, watching for clues and writing lots of information to bring back home. Maybe my doing this will inspire you to take a leap of faith and risk everything for something you believe in.
How can you help me? Ive just discovered that there is an eco lodge on Christmas island. We will have 3 nights to stay prior to our flight to Cocos. This lodge covers everything I believe in, it’s sustainable, environmentally friendly, all the food is foraged and cooked for guests and they will take us on walks to find bees and see the nature of this other impressive remote island. Despite being mainly under canvas, this lodge is priced to reflect the value of their service to the planet, which is a little more that I had budgeted for! If money was no object I would book it straight away, however, the risk of flights being cancelled and us not being able to stay there make it an expensive gamble, so I’ve set myself a challenge: to earn the extra money in the next seven days!
How can you be part of my dream?
Please buy a copy or two of my books, tell your friends to. Like and share my instagram and facebook posts. Visit your local bookshop and ask them to sell my books ( Gardners is my distributor) or book me to do a talk. There are lots of ways you can help, and all of them I hope, gives you something in return. If you have any other ideas, do let me know!
So, when you’ve read this, please leave a comment, share it with your friends, visit my online shop, then follow my adventures on Cocos Keeling, where I hope to find out why I had this prophetic dream so many years ago.