A practical way through emotions. What you are crossing here is a river, and a river is a flow of energy, usually referring to emotions or spontaneous urges. So the ease or difficulty with which you cross the ford in the dream shows how you are dealing with overcoming an obstacle, how well you are meeting things like lack of confidence, despair, uncertainty, etc. See: river.
The ford has certain features similar to bridge in that you are moving from one place to another. But in this case you are involved in the water, and this cannot help but have a cleansing effect or an influence from the flow. So the dream can be about a change you are making or is happening. Seeing someone else cross the river can also be about a change in relationship with them, or sometimes links with the ‘passing over’ – the death – of that person. The river can be a tremendous force you have to struggle with.
There is the biblical story of Jacob at the ford:
And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two women servants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
It is a story of prevailing against all odds, and by doing blessed by God.
The ford is obviously a symbol of spiritual trails, for St. Christopher followed the advice of a priest who told him to wait for Christ at a ford. In the years that followed he carried any person who wanted help across the river. But on a dark, stormy night, a small child asked him to carry him across the river. Easily St. Christopher lifted the child onto his shoulders. But having started he had to go more slowly at every step. For the small child became heavier and heavier. When he arrived in midstream, he felt “as if he carried the whole universe.” He realised then that he had taken Christ upon his shoulders-and Christ gave him remission of his sins and eternal life.
The holy child represents the whole and wonderful person we could become if we can bear the burden of our life when seen from heavens viewpoint.
Useful questions and hints:
Is this ford a barrier I am facing or an easy way to make a change in my life?
In what way am I relating to the river – is it washing me or a struggle?
Is there any suggestion of a loss here?