If you are in tune with the cosmos dreams can be prophetic. I don’t mean that they give you an exact map of the future. Rather they can lend a hand in helping to understand the world around you. My Native American ancestors used dreams and visions to help guide them through life. In their cultures this was common practice and as normal as sleeping, eating, and procreating. Dreams and visions have become part of my regular existence although I am still learning to use this information accurately and wisely.
Last night I had a very powerful dream. I was surrounded by a wild storm of epic proportions. I was lashed to a log post on a craggy outcrop of rock in the middle of a raging sea. Frothy waves crashed over the jagged rocks. The waves were so powerful that they spewed water over me while I was tied to the rough wooden post. I struggled to get loose but the ropes tightened as I writhed in an attempt to fee myself. Thick, dark clouds intersected the raging ocean in every direction. Giant booms of thunder and lightning that lit up the entire perimeter of my vision struck fear into my soul. I could not tell where I was or how I got there. It was if I had no past or future. I tried to remember family members but my mind was blank. I tried to remember where I can from but there was a huge void. I was left with only one identifiable feeling and that was terror. I looked about. The sea seemed to be swelling. It appeared as if I would be swallowed by the fervent waves. My first thought was that this was my end. What really made me mad was that I was facing the end of life without the memory of who I was or what I had done with my life. I struggled with every ounce of energy that I had in one last desperate attempt to free myself but the ropes just got tighter. A wave smashed up over the rocks and across my snared body. I could taste the salty water which strangely had a slight vinegar-like flavor. Sadly, here I was on the brink of death, and I wondered if I had ever known love.
Another wave shot up over the rocks and forced my body against the wooden post. And then another wave followed the first and I could taste the water again; salt and vinegar. I cried out. There was no one to hear me. I cried out again. This time no noise left my mouth. I could not make a sound. Another wave swept across the rocks and weighed into my body. I struggled to keep my feet on the ground. Pushing back against the wave as hard as I could the post snapped. The wave carried my off of the rock island and into the violent sea. I now found myself attached to a large piece of log rising with every crest and sinking in every trough. I realized I could slide the ropes that lashed me to the post over the end of the log. I released my hands first, and then my legs. Both were still tied together but I was free to reposition myself so that I was perpendicular to the log being tossed about by the ocean.
Another crash of thunder and simultaneous bolt of lightning lit up the dark clouds that enveloped me. Heavy rains poured down as I drifted around holding on to the log in the choppy seas. The rock island was in the distance now. I wondered if I would have been better off if I had stayed attached to the rock. Still another bolt of lightning descended, this time striking the ocean. My surroundings were frightenly bright from the high voltage electricity. White hot light blinded me for a moment. I felt my end was near.
The largest of all the waves crashed over the log that I held on to. The mighty force loosened my grip and I found myself rolling over and over under water in the boiling sea. It seemed as if I were under water for an eternity. My lungs were burning and just as I was about to take in my first dooming gulp of water my head found air above the edge of a long wave. The air was pure and fresh. I looked above and the sky was clear. I looked around me and seas were calm. Seagulls flew above me crying out to their new found freedom. My breathing was still heavy but I could feel a calm coming over me. For the moment I was safe.
As I looked about the waters that shimmered in the bright sunlight I noticed that the perimeter was dark and tumultuous. As I treaded water I turned in a full circle and realized I was in the eye of the storm and my tranquil existence would soon be over. And then, in front of me, I noticed a deep dark vortex in the sea before me. It was if someone had pulled the plug on the ocean and it was all draining to another dimension.
I looked about and considered my next move. Should I let the mean, dark seas consume me as the eye of the storm slipped away or should I dive into the dark vortex where I had no idea what would happen. I looked above at the disappearing rays of sunshine. The gulls were still circling about. And then something very odd happened. The sea gulls began to turn into ravens. At first their heads turned black and they grew strong black beaks and then all of their feathers turned dark as they began to scream in a raven’s voice. The ravens flew right by my face as I treaded water and then they flew into the vortex, disappearing and not coming back. When the last raven was gone I made my decision. I would dive into the vortex and follow them and escape the oncoming rough seas in which I would surely be doomed to drown. I swam to the edge of the vortex and took one last look. The seas were getting turbulent and dark. I felt as if I had no choice and slipped into the void.
My body swirled around the perimeter of the vortex as I fell freely down the hole. It was not as I had imagined. I thought I would be swimming as I slipped through the bowels of the vortex. Instead I was falling. At first there was light around me, and then after a few seconds the light quietly disappeared. I could clearly see images as I fell. Some looked human and some looked like animals. I struggled to see more clearly but my raging fear as I slipped into oblivion kept me from focusing on faces that appeared in the watery edge of the vortex.
I remember weeping. Surely this was the end. I was caught in the ultimate no control situation. I cried softly as I fell and kept my eyes closed. As I fell further I gradually felt more comfortable. The blackness in those depths hugged me. Somehow I was not alone.
I opened my eyes and saw human like bodies and faces along the walls of the vortex. The first few faces seemed very familiar but I did not recognize them. In a few moments I saw the image of one of my great grandparents, Papa Joe Young, a man proud to be of Cherokee heritage. And then I saw other faces I recognized, many whose names I could not remember. As I fell further and further I felt more comfortable. I saw my grandmother Thelma, and my mother’s mother Mattie Pearl. I saw my New Foundland dog whose name was Ella and my hound that we had named Hickory. I saw my dad and he smiled as I passed by. And then I saw my mother and was struck by the fact that she was young again. She looked happy and content.
And then I felt my rapid descent slow down. It was if I was made of a feather and was floating softly through space. I felt someone holding my hand and realized it was my grandfather. My father’s father was part Abenaki. He said nothing but guided me though a portal on the side of the vortex. He looked at me, mouthed the words, “Be well my son”, to which there was no sound. He then pushed me through the portal and I saw nothing but blackness.
I opened my eyes. I was in my bed. Maureen, my wonderful wife, was sleeping beside me. Our two bloodhounds, sleeping next to the bed, snored loudly assuring me that I was safely at home. I laid there for a while, trying to reconfigure what happened. I remembered the seagulls turning to ravens and how I had dared to follow them. And I wondered what would have happened if I had decided to stay in the dark stormy seas where there seemed to be know hope.
This dream seemed very real and had great power. It will be some time before I understand its full meaning.
Written for www.wildramblings.com in July 2010