Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
Cass Elliot from the Mamas & Papas first sang this gorgeous song in 1968. Written in 1931, and covered by many artists of fame over the years, Cass Elliot's version is often considered to be the definitive version. The song leaves you belting in the car, imagining wildly you have the same singing chops as Mama Cass herself, thinking of romance and love. But the history is much sadder and darker. Originally a dance tune, Cass Elliot's version is reflective and melancholy. Mama Cass was rumored to have been unhappy covering the song because she considered it "campy," and behind the scenes the Mamas & Papas were actually about to break up. The song was recorded by the group because they knew one of the co-writers, who had tragically died that same year, so this version was to in part pay homage to him. For the few years after the break up that Cass Elliot performed solo, Dream a Little Dream became a signature song for her, despite the brokenness behind the scenes. Sadly, she passed away at age 32 in 1974, just a few years later.
This story reminded me that not everything is as it seems. In a world of social media, people tend to highlight the best parts of their lives and it is easy for some of us to find ourselves comparing. And yet, sometimes, the beautiful song we are hearing (or viewing) has a sad side that doesn't show. A reminder of the quote often attributed to the Scottish author Ian MacLaren, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Joseph was a dreamer in the Bible. He is often sugarcoated as a character in a musical with his fancy coat belting "Any Dream will Do." But Joseph's dreams as often as not got him into trouble and challenged his relationships. We don't always see the whole story. We have to look deeper.
What are you dreaming of in these days? How do your dreams challenge you? How do they, or should they, uplift others? What are you sharing with honesty, and what needs your attention? Who in your circle needs your care rather than your jealousy? Who do you need to share your most tender story with right now? Who needs you to listen?
I invite you to dream a little dream with me - that we can choose hope over fear, and honesty over pretending. We all carry sadness, heartache, anxiety - sometimes despite and amidst all the good we also have to celebrate. Therapist Mazi Robinson says, "It feels like a lot because it is a lot." Let's focus on our hope whenever we can and lift each other up. There has never been a more important time to do so.