“Changing wind does justice work and dogs are warm to ancient owls. And jaguars lose their faith sometimes. That’s what I told him when we got out of the caves and that’s what he wrote down here.” Eric was holding the slip of paper that Yohny had given him, which showed clear signs that he’d been handling it quite a bit.
He and Louise were already at the breakfast table when I arrived, both looking kind of shaken. They’d apparently been there for a while enjoying the strong coffee the hotel served up. I was ready for some myself, and some eggs and spuds and fruit and fresh bread. It was going to be a long day, the first leg of the trip back home.
“Good morning! Did you all have sweet dreams?” I was trying to be cavalier; my own dreams had been pretty darned strange. Strange, but sweet.
Eric and Louise just looked at each other.
“Geez Louise, that’s what we were just talking about! We both had some pretty interesting dreams! Wonderful dreams! And they were all about the cave whisperers and the Tzolk’in!”
She grinned as she held up her own slip of paper. “Changing wind and sweet death brings gentle light to the magic rabbit!”
“Wow. Me, too.” I sat down with them as the waiter brought a new pot of coffee out. He gave us a knowing grin and nod as he headed off to the next table; all of the staff at the hotel had watched the show the night before. It had been quite a treat for them. Of course they hadn’t been quite as spellbound by the voodoo woman as we turista had been.
“There are some cultures where dream sharing is part of the morning breakfast ritual.” Eric was an amateur anthropologist; that had been one of the things that had brought him there. “Why don’t you start, Louise?”
She smiled and thought to herself for a moment, perhaps fine tuning her channel just a bit, before starting.
“My grandmother came to me in my dream. She was carrying her old cat that I’d loved so much as a child, Puma. Grandma died just last year, and it just broke my heart. She’d always read beautiful stories to me as a child about sweet fairies who brought good luck and bright futures. You know, like living happily ever after?”
She paused for a minute and smiled before going on.
“Well Grandma came and sat on the bed with me, right on down there in my room. She said that the winds of change have come for the Puma child, and that her own sweet death would help bring the wisdom of the ancestors to light through me. She told me to look to the children of my brothers and sisters, that they would spread joy and light into the future.” She had tears in her eyes. We all did.
Eric took a deep breath.
“For me it was my father.” His eyes were a long time and place away from the table. “He was a lot older than my mother and passed away when I was still a kid.” He smiled. “They had this total Romeo and Juliet relationship. His mother was appalled that he hadn’t married a nice Jewish girl, and Mom’s people were so strictly Catholic that there was no question about how my sister and I would be raised. We grew up in Puerto Rico, and mi Madre is still pretty darned devout. Anyway, Dad told me not to give up on my ideals to please my mother. He said that I’m the guy to bring the winds of change to both sides of the family, that my wide perspective on things can help bring justice. He said that I’ve got the wisdom of the owl and courage and warmth of the dog that everyone loves and admires. And he said if I followed my heart, I’d find my lady love.” His smile got even bigger as they both turned to me.
Well crap. Why couldn’t I have nice, normal, noble dreams of my ancestors?
“Okay, well. I was visited by the ghost of Bob Marley; he told me that Jacob, the guy that Dickens wrote about, had been his grandfather. He was riding a crocodile through the caves with me, and the water was rushing, gangbusters.”
I could still feel it. I’d known with absolute certainty that it was dream; the reality check of dead Reggae masters riding crocodiles confirmed that.
I took a deep breath and continued.
“Then the crocodile spoke up. It told me that pain builds character, and it was time to put that thick skin of mine to good use.” I shook my head. The crocodile’s voice had been exactly like my own and was incredibly nagging. So the first part of the dream wasn’t a whole lot of fun. But then it got interesting, so interesting that as I started to talk about it, I caught a little wave and was back on the dream channel.
The crocodile turned and smiled at me as I floated and she swam along, carrying Bob out of the cave beside me. She stood, Bob still seated securely as a Zen master on a Zafu, and morphed quickly from crocodile to Godzilla, at which stage she said “Hey Mama” in the Howler’s voice. She then transitioned through Archaeopteryx, before settling on the massive Harpy Eagle of my femininity. She had my face.
Bob reached down and pulled me up in front of him on the back of the great winged beast. We soared.
I have no idea if I actually described the dream to my friends as I relived it; I’m not sure I could have. We soared over every place on earth and took in every detail, Google Earth style. We saw the good, the bad, the ugly, the now of ecosystem Earth.
But we weren’t done.
We soared into the future. On the first trip though, we saw the Road, just as I’d seen it when I read that dreadfully great book by Cormack McCarthy. My core response was the same; I shouted the word out loud. “NO!”
This was my dream and there was damned well no way we were going there. I did that thing one can do in dreams. I took control. Or at least I opted to change the channel, look for other options.
And so it was no, and we soared into another realm, a realm of zooming in too closely on that pixelated map, so closely that the detail is lost in a matrix of blurry possibility. Bob leaned back in the soft leather seat that had been added to the picture beneath us and pulled me close.
“You know, water Mama, you got to get out of da darkness before you can feel da warm winds of one love for da big Gaia. Dare be a way more beautiful world possible. But da only way to make it happen is to get up, stand up, make it happen, you know dat.”
I woke from both the re-dream and the story when Rudy showed up.
“You guys with the early flights home need to get on the 10:00 am to the mainland.”
It was almost 8:30 already, we’d lost track of time. We’d have to say our farewells to the others in cyberspace; none had made it up and out in time for breakfast. Red wine will do that to a person.
At the airport on the mainland, we started saying our goodbyes as we headed through the security gate area. Eric was off to visit his mother for a while before heading off to a new job in New York, and his gate was at the opposite end of the airport. Our farewell was interrupted by a commotion up in the direction he was headed.
“Ángel dirigido rojo!” A group of nuns who were collecting for the impoverished children of Guatemala were gushing over the generous donation they’d just received from a beautiful red headed woman. She was looking rather startled and unsure how to react to their attentions, clearly not understanding what they were saying to her.
Eric was spellbound, but only for a second.
“Louise, Brooke, it’s been, well, something. I don’t think any of us are ever going to forget this. I’ll be in touch, soon!” He rushed down the hall to offer assistance to his future wife, Rebecca.
Louise and I turned and headed toward the Delta gates.
“You know, my grandmother wanted for me to be a nun. Back in my school days I always felt so close to God, there was something magical about it all. Maybe I can find that magic again. Who knows? The winds of change are my destiny!” She smiled, beaming with the light of her feminine energy.
I hugged her goodbye at her gate and moved on down the line to my own. There was a guy there wearing a T-shirt that had Buddha riding Godzilla on the front of it. I decided he’d be a fine person to chat with for a while and sat down.
Linda Brooke Stabler, Ph.D.