It must've been probably two decades ago that I had this dream. It was crystal clear, however clear a dream can become, and showed a scenery at a beach. Countless people had been there, playing in and around a fortress made of wood, a playground, no doubt. Families were enjoying life blissfully that day. When suddenly behind the horizon the sky was falling. Clouds got sucked down into the receding ocean and the event began to race toward the shore. People at first did not understand what they were looking at, but instinctively got terrified and began running inland. I was up on a perch of some kind, a dune with grass on it and a few rocks down into the sand. It was mesmerizing to see this spectacle of the horizon swallowing the heavens, so to say. And I knew it was the end. In fact, they all knew. That bit of hope that left them running was like a plea, a prayer of haste, fear and disbelief.
To me it was no nightmare. I witnessed it with adrenaline, but knew I was looking at something that was not now. I only did not know whether it was in the future or in the past. In fact, I did not even consider the latter right up until now, I think. Was it not a prophecy, but a memory?
Yes, many things can fashion the nature of a dream. Our mind is processing data, sorting, defragmenting events that mattered in some way, discarding those, which may have not and projecting that which might be. Yes, the categories stimulate related fields of our existing memory, evoking sensations, images, even sounds. Yes, often we don't even know what we had received that day or what accumulated into a necessity to be somehow resolved inside of our mind. But sometimes, every now and then, nothing even remotely resembles the content of our days in the world of a dream.
I've had a few more dreams of apocalyptic nature, never the same, really, but always in great detail. Sometimes even with maps, illustrating uninhabitable zones. Especially in North America, which is funny, because I'm not an American (in this life, haha). This one, particularly, felt clearly like a glimpse into the future, though. Not the least because in my dream this map was presented in a news report that I "felt" during a walk to the home I grew up in in Germany. But, anyway... currently I'm more curious about ancestral memory and if it could flare up to reveal itself within a dream.