Let’s Talk About Dreams

dreams - word floating on a starry cloudy sky background

When I speak of dreams here, I don’t mean the mind’s journeys while you’re sleeping. I refer to dreams—visions, imaginings—you have for yourself, for those you love, for your larger community.

Dreams do make a difference, but how exactly? When has a dream sent your life in a different direction? When has a dream given you the ability and the nerve to do something new?

When do you know that a dream needs attention—that maybe it’s meant to develop into reality? What are the signs that, this time, you need to work on this dream and help it materialize?

What about communal dreams? Do you belong to a community that likes to dream and then work on the dream? I remember when my church was grappling with the problem of hunger in our city. That triggered a dream, and today we have a garden that helps supply fresh produce to shelters and pantries in our neighborhood. It took several people dreaming this at the same time—and we had help dreaming from our Jewish friends down the street, whose synagogue community had already begun to cultivate gardens around the city.

How do you encourage dreams in your children? How do you communicate to them that some of their dreams might not come true—or do you even say that?

Speaking of which—what about the dreams that never get beyond dream stage? Do we consider those failures? Or are some dreams meant simply to give us good practice at dreaming?

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Vinita Hampton Wright
Vinita Hampton Wright edited books for 32 years, retiring in 2021. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places and spirituality books Days of Deepening Friendship, The Art of Spiritual Writing, Small Simple Ways: An Ignatian Daybook for Healthy Spiritual Living, and, most recently, Set the World on Fire: A 4-Week Personal Retreat with the Female Doctors of the Church. Vinita is a spiritual director and continues to facilitate retreats and write fiction and nonfiction. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and a cat in Springdale, Arkansas.


  1. These are great questions, all are very thought-provoking. They certainly stir deep contemplation for me. In addition, I might offer that you could just as easily be referring to nighttime dreams. I have found nighttime dreams to be great material for inner reflection on my relationship to God too. All of the questions you have shared here are helpful for me when I apply them to either daytime dreams (visions, imaginings) or nighttime dreams (my minds journey while I am sleeping). Thank you for this post!


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