Dreams and synchronicity

What I was beginning to learn was that the world was deeper, weirder, more meaningful than anything I could imagine. Could dreams have a divine significance? My study of Jung and the importance he attached to dreams and how they could give messages from the unconscious made me more accepting of the idea that a dream could have real significance. Also, it’s common in the Bible for God to speak to people through dreams. So when Margaret told me of her dream, I didn’t dismiss it entirely. In fact, I was intrigued.

I was also intrigued at the time with Jung’s idea of synchronicity, which the dictionary defines as: the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. I’ve already mentioned several that happened to me, so when some strange coincidences happened after meeting Margaret, I wasn’t very surprised.


After our initial meeting in Portree, at my prompting, we met twice in 1999. I wanted to find out more about what had happened in Margaret’s life since the time we first met in the early 1960s. I was working in Gairloch on the mainland at the time and Margaret was on the Isle of Benbecula. She came to Gairloch and stayed in a B & B. I was in the schoolhouse. Before she left Benbecula, she was thinking she would like a piece of fresh salmon she could bring with her. Half an hour later the phone rings. A friend who had just come back from Lewis with a fresh salmon asked her if she wanted some. Of course she did!



(Red calf)

Nonsense verses and a red calf

The second time she was in Gairloch, I made up some nonsense verses for our amusement. I had a dog and cat at the time, but I also included an imaginary red calf in the verses: ‘all that’s needed is the deil of a red calf.’ The red calf had a story to tell. It would be another coincidence: Margaret made her way back to Benbecula by car and ferry on the Thursday. She phoned me from Benbecula and told me that she had stopped at Strathcarron and went into a gift shop. Something told her she should buy a red calf. If she could buy a red calf in the shop it would be a sign for her that our relationship might continue. There were no red calves on the shelves. She asked the assistant, who looked in the back store and she came back with a small reddish coloured calf. Margaret was delighted.

When she told me this story later, I laughed, but decided to play along with it. Okay I said if I see a red calf on the road when I’m going home to Skye at the weekend I’ll take that as a sign as well. It was all good fun. Of course, I never expected to see a calf on the road. I drove for two and a half hours. No red calf. Then a mile from home a car in front of me stopped. I was forced to stop. There in front of us a man was transferring red cattle, including some red calves, from a field on one side of the road to the other. I laughed inwardly. Synchronicity was alive and well.

Time passes

Margaret and I hadn’t made arrangements to meet again or communicate. Six months went past, when I decided to phone her. O, she said, I’ve just sent you a postcard today. It was from then on that we started going together. We got married a couple of years later. Margaret had been a Christian for a long time. I was still somewhere on the line to becoming one. Despite all that had happened, I was still waiting for the ‘trumpet, a fire, / which would prove there was something intelligent beyond the veil’, as I had written aged forty,

What would happen to finally make me a true believer? That was still some time in the future. By true believer I mean someone who believes in the cross and in the resurrection. I still had some way to go.