All my life (at least up until now) I have heard an old bit of folk wisdom or superstition that if you dream the same dream three times, that dream will come true. Sometimes it is suggested the dream must recur on successive nights, but the former is the more popular theory, at least as I've heard of it.
I'm a big dreamer and have always felt that dreams have meaning. At least I can attest that mine do. The only thing that prevents me from keeping a dream journal beside my bed is that, light sleeper that I am, if I were to try to record my dreams before returning to my slumbers, why, I would never return to my slumbers. But many of dreams remain with me after I have awakened for the day. Many have stayed with me for years.
I have had premonitory dreams. Much valuable self insight has been gleaned from my dreams when the filter is off and my whole mind gets involved in my thought process rather than just my conscious mind. Because that filter is off during my sleep, my dreams have also given me valuable insights about people I know and who are a part of my life. I've written songs in my dreams. And of course I've had more than my share of Freudian "wish fulfillment" in my dreams.
Recently I have twice dreamed of a fire in my home. Well, not really a fire, but rather smoke that indicated to me that there was a fire or about to be a fire. Actual flames were never seen in my dreams, only copious amounts of smoke.
The first of these dreams occurred several weeks ago when I dreamed my clock radio began smoking. Now that clock radio has been malfunctioning for a while. The radio occasionally comes on without warning and there is no way to turn the radio off. The control is no longer fail-safe. The clock radio has great sentimental value to me, having been a gift from my high school sweetheart ex-wife, and is over thirty years old. Many have been the nights my sleep was interrupted by the radio suddenly coming on during the night. Often when I am home it comes on suddenly and usually plays a song that has personal meaning for me. That wasn't so bad, but the night interruptions were getting old quick.
I had been thinking of throwing the radio away but found I just couldn't bear to part with. It was as I was debating tossing it that my first dream occurred. I was in my bed sleeping and - in my dream, mind you - turned over to check the digital time read out (something I often do during the night) and noticed smoke arising from it. The dream seemed so real that it woke me and then it took me a couple of minutes before I could convince myself it was a dream.
Well, finally I just thought to turn the tuner to a "dead spot" were no radio station was located and that has solved my problem.
Then came my second smoke dream. It happened just the other night when I dreamed the indoor portion of my heating and air-conditioning unit began smoking during the night. Again the dream was so realistic it disturbed me greatly.
That dream probably isn't mysterious as twice this past week I had to call a repairman to replace a faulty thermostat which was making for a cold house. The first replacement went bad after two days and had to be replaced. Perhaps faulty machines just have a way of going up in smoke in my dreams.
Those aren't exactly the same dream but rather the same kind of dream. So now I await a third smoke-filled dream to see what, if anything, happens. You see, I've always had this fear rattling around in the back of my mind - not a great one, but certainly a persistent one - of my home catching fire while I am asleep. That almost happened once when I was a teenager and an ironing board that had been propped up along a wall somehow managed to fall onto a floor furnace. My mother woke up in the night because she smelled smoke (we didn't have smoke detectors in my childhood home}. Strangely there were no flames involved in this incident either, only smoke. I was asleep on the couch and was awakened by the noise my mom made dragging the smoldering ironing board off the furnace.
Well, I'm not superstitious, but I am profoundly curious.
Just for fun I'm attaching a story about dreams of three taken from the April 30, 1855, edition of the New York Times:
Fatal Accident at West Avon - Prophetic Dreams
On Tuesday, the 24th inst., as Orson Woodford, of West Avon, was sawing wood with a horse-power saw, the saw caught in a crooked stick and was torn with the shaft from its fastenings. It came in contact with Mr. W.'s right arm, which was torn nearly off at the elbow. He survived the injury but twelve hours. Mr. W. leaves a wife and two children.
A singular circumstance connected with this sad occurrence is mentioned by a correspondent, who sends us the above statement. Mr. Woodford dreamed; for three successive nights, of being hurt with that saw; and on the morning of his death he remarked to his wife, on arising, "I had that same ugly dream last night."