Beautiful Dreamer.

What can it be that “anchors” a refugee to their personal situation and can give them the strength to persevere but a cultural / familial reflection back to happier times in their own country with their own family. As to how far back that memory must go would surely have to depend on what their age was when they first had to flee their homeland. I would imagine that those closely-held “pictures and words” seen and spoken when amongst the ones that they trusted and loved in a time of greater innocence and now held most dearly to the heart would be the single most precious tools of survival when things went bad while seeking refuge abroad..and the threat of losing or tainting those treasured memories to either callous abuse or fatalistic hopelessness could be worse than death itself…

So please..play the song while you start to read the story..and it is there at the end for when you finish too.

Beautiful Dreamer…

“I flew my kite today!..did you see me mamma?”

“Yes..I saw you!…I saw you on the paddock with Tessy and the others..”

“Yes..it flew good..but then the wind died and it fell down…”

“Never mind, there’s always tomorrow…Now it’s time for this little kite-flyer to go bye-byes..”

“No..tomorrow I am going to help Daddy and Uncle Donny fix the truck…they said I could help..”

“And then so you shall..but tonight you must sleep..now lay back and I’ll sing you a song..”

“Can you sing “Beautiful Dreamer” to me mummy? ”

“Of course I can..for my little chappy.”

“…Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,

Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;”

“Will Daddy and Uncle Donny fix the truck , mum?”

“They better…or they won’t be able to take Mr. Elses load of produce to the city Friday”.

“It’s an old truck mummy..Why did they buy an old truck?”

“It’s all we could afford, darling..Yes..it’s old..but it’s a good truck.”

“Yes mummy..it IS a good truck…a good red truck!”

“…Sounds of the rude world, heard in the day,

Lull’d by the moonlight have all passed away!

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,

List while I woo thee with soft melody;”

“Mummy..”

“haaaaa…yes dear?”

“I rode Sammy’s bike today”

“I know , dear..I saw you..”

“I rode it to the store and back…”

“I hope you didn’t go past the store..”

“no, mummy..I know not to go past the store….Mummy?”

“Yesss dear?”

“Do you see everything I do?”

“More than you know..now you close those wide awake eyes and go off to dreamland. or I wont sing you any more songs..patient’s  reward!..if you keep interrupting me…Now where was I..?”

“Gone are the cares of life’s busy throng,

Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!”

“Mummy?”

“For heaven’s sake..what!?”

“Uncle Donny said it was the fuel pump broken in the truck….what’s a fuel pump?”

“…a fuel pump..is..a pump!…a..pump that pumps fuel…like a heart”

” A heart, mummy?…”

“…yess..I suppose it’s exactly like a heart…but a heart doesn’t pump fuel, it pumps love…now go to sleep you cheeky little want-to-know-it-all..”

“O..O..don’t tickle, mummy!…don’t tickle !”

“Then go to sleep..go to sleep..!”

“Here..here’s “teki bear” to cuddle…here..I’ll get your pillow straight again..my , you do fiddle and fuss..”

“Donny’s not my real uncle is he, mumma?”

“Not yet, dear..but we hope he soon will be..when he marries your sister.”

“Why does he want to marry Sissy?”

“Because he loves her …and she loves him..and so..they will want to get married…have some kiddies of their own…”

“Now..where was I?..”

“…Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea,

Mermaids are chanting the wild lorelei;

Over the streamlet vapors are borne,

Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.”

“Will Sissy and Uncle Donny live with us when they get married?”

“I don’t think they will have a choice, dear”

“Hmm..that’s good..I like Uncle Donny…hmm”

“…Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,”

“But what about “Trunk” and his cart…will he still stay with us?”

“Well…”Trunk” is a donkey, and I don’t know if there is room for a donkey AND a truck in our little yard..”

“But “Trunk” has been with us for years and years..”

“Yes, well….we’ll see..I’ll speak to Mr, Tully next door..he has a little yard there..we’ll see..now seriously…mummy’s getting a bit tired herself and angry..here..a kiss……for a tired little chap and it’s REALLY time now we went to sleep..”

“…Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,

Even as the morn on the streamlet and sea;

Then will all clouds of sorrow depart,

Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!”

” SHIT!….SHIT!!…He’s set himself on fire!..he’s set himself on fire!..”

“Don’t just stand there get a hose…get a bucket or something…get the guards…Get security!”

” You shared his room son..you must know something about why he did this.”

“He did it because you were going to send him back to where he came from.”

“Firstly..don’t give us lip…Second..It’s not up to us where the department sends anyone..and Third..answer the question as we want you to..we’re trying to get to the bottom of his death.”

“I can’t tell you much at all about him..I was only sharing with him for a couple of weeks.”

“Well..you must have talked..at night..unless you got up to “other things”…just kidding, just kidding!….so c’mon..what got him so upset..surely you want to know as well..after all, you were there when he struck the match.”

“Yes..I was there..but only just there..I just came around the corner and ..whoosh!..god..it was horrible..”

” From where you come from, you must have seen worse.”

“Yes..well..not really..this was suddenly there..in my face”.

“So right..c’mon..tell us what you know of him”.

“He was depressed that the department was going to send him “back home”..He said he had no home anymore..or family.”

“No Family?..no-one at all back in his village?”

“He said there was no village anymore..the whole village was burnt to the ground..His mother, father sisters and all the people there were slaughtered..”

“Didn’t he come with any relatives?”

“No..oh..hang on…he did say they started out together..he and an Uncle..?”

“There!..he does have a relative then”

“No..He said they started out together..but the Uncle..Don, I think he called him, drowned with many others  before they were rescued.”

“So..No..Uncle..”

“No…nobody..just some leftover dreams from a long time ago, I’d say.”

“How do you know that?”

“How?..He was just like the rest of us..”

“Some people said he was singing a song before he lit the match..a song he was heard singing at other times..”

“I…I don’t remember..I…don’t…….”

“You were heard to yell out…”Stop singing, stop singing!”…even after he fell over….”

“Oh..that…It’s a song he sang quietly to himself every night before he went to sleep..almost in a whisper…but I could still hear it..every night”

“What was it…the song?”

“I don’t know the name…How would I?”

“Well…me and my mate here like to be entertained..how about you sing a couple of bars?”

“mmm..alright..I’ll try…….”

“ Beautiful dreamer… wake unto me,

Starlight and dewdrops….are waiting for thee;

Sounds of the rude world, heard in the day,

Lull’d by the moonlight have all passed away!

….Beautiful Dreamer…awake…unto….me.”

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