With the turning of December, I had a powerful dream, the kind I have about once a year that stays with me and seems to carry some specific message that often takes me time to fully understand.
I was traveling somewhere unknown and offered temporary shelter in a room inside a large hostel or early 1900s multi-level apartment building. As I was preparing to sleep for the night, I noticed a small worm next to the bed on the floor. I thought not much of it and let it be. I was tired, so I fell into a deep sleep. When I awoke, I was amazed to find a giant butterfly with malachite wings, each the size of my hand flying around my room. The wings were like a cross-section of malachite, somewhat like the image above.
I was thrilled and excited! I went to get some other people to look at the butterfly and show them what had appeared in my room. “You won’t believe this! I’ve never seen anything like it!” I pointed and showed three people in the building and unknown to me in real life. They all looked at me as if I was a bit, shall we say, one taco short of a combo platter. No one else could see the glorious butterfly.
A little research later, I learned that malachite (I don’t own any but probably will now) is a copper-formulated stone with metaphysical properties linked to the throat and heart energy centers specifically, transformation, and healing. I found this to be meaningful in that I always experience fear and anxiety and trauma in my body as being in my throat chakra. The terror associated with being unable to express oneself and be understood. In addition, I immediately understood the butterfly as the most obvious symbol of transformation I could see. So my brief dream interpretation tells me that even if the power of this gorgeous object of transformation may not be visible to anyone around me, some type of big shift is headed my way.
Way of Seeing
My daughter was driving us to a family gathering this week, and I tried to articulate a way of seeing.
I shared, “Isn’t it amazing how the natural world is changing constantly? Think about how few moments most of us are observing it– all the time the light shifts, clouds move, animals cry, leaves fall. If I focus on something from the natural world, it always seems to reflect something in my mind or something pertinent to my life, as if it is communicating directly with me.”
Response: “Yes, but that’s something we create in our minds.”
Me: “I’m trying to describe how it feels like something more than just imaginative creation that’s going on.”
At that exact moment, a family of nine California quails began to cross the road in front of our car. Now I have seen a handful of these birds on the 60-mile island where I live, but I have never, ever seen them in town or block a two-way street while a large family of them crossed a street. My daughter, being keenly sensitive to the sanctity of all animals, thankfully stepped on the brakes quickly, which caused the oncoming traffic to do the same, allowing the family to cross in single file.
The family gathering we were attending had nine people in it. We burst out laughing when we realized what I was trying to say had been described in probably the best way I could not even imagine.
I just received this book but had not read in it until this moment, where the description of connection to the natural world I was trying to describe (or indigenous view) is articulated better than I can:
“What’s incredible to understand is that the heart of our universe is alive, vibrating energy. It is a sea of potential– a void, empty but full of all possibility– communicating with us and within us across space and time.” (p.18)
She sums up the way most of us see in contrast: “Western views have become conceptual rather than perceptual, influenced by ideas rather than direct experience.” (p.16)
I am now going to step away from the screen and desk into the cold winter twilight to practice seeing. More later.