Two days ago I dreamt I met someone from high school. (It's been 20 years, and I'm sure it has something to do with Facebook...) DH was in the dream, too, sitting on a concrete wall to one side of me. An old friend who recently wrote her phone number in her latest Christmas card, was sitting to my left. Others from high school, whom I didn't know, were sitting across from me.
And, as dreams often do, the scene changed, and we were all in a group, this time across the little street in front of my old grade school. In the midst of our assembly was a tour guide, who quietly told me to look - there - and I wondered what she wanted me to see. That bird, like a little towhee, on the lawn? But almost immediately she walked out to the outer edge of the group, and I looked up over the trees and finally spotted what she wanted me to see. I of course had my camera, and began snapping photo after photo, for there were four or five bears clustered just there, in a vee where the tree branches sloped. They were not *in* the trees, rather sort of hovering there, just behind the leaves.
They weren't particularly friendly, and the guide walked forth to either calm them, or send them away. I don't remember if she said something fierce to protect us, or if a dog barked (I think it did), but the bears then disappeared. And I awoke.
So what does this all mean? A friend said, "Of course the bear is you and you are the bear, and the guide, and every other character in your dream."
Perhaps, I said back. But in truth I wonder why the bear(s) have returned. For a long time the bear was muse to me, a way to explore the sacred, spiritual realm I felt so new to. The bear that came to our yard when I was either sleeping or doing something elsewhere, was the essence of the Creator, was the mystery, was God. I wrote and wrote about the bear, and then the bear disappeared. Sort of. I was always hoping to catch a glimpse of the Bear, which is what it became, but all I got was the frequent gift of scat filled with blackberry seeds or partly digested apple flesh.
Okay, I did get to see a bear, or three, twice. Once, early in the morning, as it trotted away with a grocery bag of garbage in its teeth, and again about two years later, around New Year, when first one, then two young bears raided our worm bin under the bedroom window. These two were pushed away by a mother bear who resumed the raid. I crept downstairs to get a better look, but in the dark my toe caught the leg of a chair, and the sudden sharp noise sent them all away.
This isn't the whole story. Not by a long shot. Two days ago the woman in the story found an old friend and wrote a note to say hi. The friend said hi back. And the woman remembered a past in which the friend asked a question and the woman, nervous, skirted a true answer in favor of one that didn't sound too eager. The evening progressed and became awkward, and the two friends parted. Later the woman received a call on her birthday, which she returned days later to cold reception. And that was that.
And this is this - a sighting, a reawakening of an old question, half-answered. Wonderment at the question's original intent and the lost opportunity to find out what the truth would have encouraged. Will the woman ever find out exactly why the question was asked? Or did the nebulous answer she supplied those many years ago create an altered trail into the current time?
Confused? That's okay. You can fill in any story to go with the above. I'm sure it will be a good and an interesting one, whatever path you choose to follow.