Scientists think dreaming is a way for our brain to process fears and move on to make room for new threats. This theory makes sense to me because of the way my nightmares have evolved over time.
School nightmares started early in life and lasted until I was in my thirties. Having two stepsons has resulted in some nightmares concerned with their safety. I also have farm nightmares, but these have changed as my style of farming has changed.
I used to have nightmares about animals in confinement. A pen of pigs or chickens was forgotten for weeks, only to be remembered with panic, hoping they still had feed and water.
But now as more of my animals are on pasture more of the year, my dreams usually involve them escaping. This is not unfounded as I once had cattle that ended up on the highway more than a mile away. Hence, the gates you see in the photo above are closed every night, helping me sleep better.
The latest nightmare I had was interesting because it combined animals escaping and my stepsons. I was checking the cattle in the rented pasture with my stepsons. Much to my surprise, my breeding hogs had escaped into this pasture. I started looking closer and found a couple of wild boars in with my sows. This was not good, but then an elephant squealed and walked into view. To my credit I didn’t panic, but calmly told the boys to check out the elephant.