Last night I found myself under an arbor of branches with a young girl. It was dusk, I believe, in this landscape of dreams. The colors were muted as though we were on the verge of darkness. The space, wrapped with the remains of two trees. Or, at least I thought they were remains…
When I tipped my head I could see the forms of the branches as they bent to create a natural roof that filtered in light. There were two. Guardians, I decided. Their heads close together, but not quite touching. I thought them beautiful, but also sad. As I studied them, I realized they were horses.
Lifeless, or so I thought. Their lips, mere inches away from union. The thought of love frozen in place before it could be realized filled me with melancholy.
“They are dead,” I declared as I reached up to stroke the wooden neck of one.
“No,” the young girl declared. “They are not dead. They are only in need of care.”
And as I listened to her child-wisdom, I saw that she was right. Ever so slightly, the two wooden horses began to move. I followed the girl to the place where food lay forgotten in the dust and helped fill their bowls with nourishment. Together, we brought our offerings to the pair of guardians.
“See,” the girl said. “They just needed our love.”
It was probably about a week or so ago. I don’t know the exact date, because I didn’t record it. Nor do I recall all the details. What lingers, though, is the feeling along with image of the oven top. Burners lit when they should not be. Gas leaking into the air…
In case you haven’t guessed from previous posts, I am fascinated (and perhaps a bit obsessed) by dreams. I always have been. I didn’t record much in my journals as a child and teen, but for a time I recorded my dreams. They held a deep intrigue for me. Some nights they brought escapes into wondrous fairylands. Others, the haunting terror of reoccurring nightmares. And, there were the ones that came true.
Even though I was raised in a very scientific-minded household where anything that the physical eyes could not see was deemed as fanciful and untrue, I knew dreams offered a wisdom into the more hidden realms of our being and the universe that seemed like truth even to my obedient mind.
The more I study my own dreams, the more I learn. Some of us go into deep meditative states for understanding, some of us channel the inner guide through automatic writing., or consult cards, astrologers of psychics. Or maybe we simply walk in the woods. I find each one helpful, but perhaps not so constantly helpful, as dreams.
Dreams are effortless. We close our eyes and fall into slumber, and dreams come to us without beckoning. Although we may claim we do not dream, we all do. And there are many ways to train our brains to recall our dreams if we have trouble remembering them. It’s worth looking into if you tend to wake without recollection.
When we dream, our minds unearth our deepest fears, as well as our heart’s yearnings. Through their strange language of metaphor, we can decipher a vast library of wisdom. Their code, unique to each individual.
When I dreamt the oven lit and leaking gas several nights ago, I awoke with the feeling of foreboding. I knew fear was at play, but it didn’t feel like a metaphor. It felt real.
I checked the stove throughout the day, and occasionally during the next few days when I’d recall the dream. Then, I largely forgot about it. Until today.
You could say there was nothing too unusual about this morning. My son and I left for an appointment as scheduled, and I reminded my daughter of when to leave for hers. We arrived at the office seven minutes early, and I half-noted the feeling of emptiness on our way in.
The receptionist flushed when she saw us. Stumbling over apologies, she informed us that my children’s appointments had been canceled last minute due to illness. No big deal. We rescheduled and left. For a moment, I thought about running an errand or two, but instead followed the familiar road home.
We were back at the house about a half an hour after we had left. Entering through the garage, I found myself puzzled by a strange smell. My daughter was on the couch eating her breakfast and watching a cooking show. Nothing unusual for a weekend. I greeted her, told her about the appointment reschedule, and we talked about other things as I continued to sniff the air periodically.
I decided it smelled like gas. Not the gas from engine exhaust, but it seemed to be more concentrated near the garage, so I lingered around there for a moment, then walked towards the oven. There was a small frying pan on one of the burners, leftover from my daughter’s breakfast. Again, nothing out of the ordinary. She often makes herself elaborate meals on weekends. Except there was the smell. Slightly sulfurous and overwhelming the air. My eyes left the pan and looked beneath it. No flame. They caught upon the knob below, turned a quarter to the right.
I recalled the dream nights before as I turned the knob to “off,” pushed the button overhead to fan the air outside, and opened a door and window to aid the ventilation. I sent a million silent “thank you”s to fate that the morning’s appointments had been canceled, then began a firm, but kind lecture to my daughter about minding the stove and not using that particular burner to simmer because the fame dies when it is down to low, but the gas still releases.