Morning Meds; 4 2 22
The moon hung in the south; her face exposed save for a sliver of shadow. Red embers rose from the bonfire and died in the night sky. Sap sputtered and spit with squeaks and whines as it boiled from burning branches. Flames of orange, yellow, and tints of blue chased each other to their tips. The smoke followed the wind drifting into the timber at the edge of Four Crows’ yard.
It had been a day of smoked loin and family favorites, foods brought by requests and need and with the meal finished, Four Crows’ family had divided into groups.
The teenagers, clustered like a pile of gerbils, scrolled their cellphones, each ignoring the others as they searched for human contact.
The adults settled around the kitchen table to complain about too much food and to enjoy a friendly game of cards, the volume of their voices increasing proportionately to the amount of empty beer cans accumulating in the trash can. Their laughter and accusations of hidden cards and secret signals carried across the back yard to where Four Crows and the younger children gathered at the small bonfire.
The younger children had been bribed to the bonfire with Graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. Four Crows and the older children speared marshmallows and helped sandwich the charred sweetness between the crackers. Most of the grandchildren were finished and had tossed their sticks into the blaze, and in spite of an available washcloth, the younger children had already rubbed most of the stickiness of their s’mores onto their jeans.
“Tell us a story, Papa, surely you’ve had a dream,” requested one of the boys.
“Yes, Papa! Where did you go? What did you see?” asked another.
Four Crows finished wiping the worst of the marshmallow and grass from the youngest girl’s hands and tossed the washcloth to the oldest. Sitting back in his chair he looked into the faces of his brood.
“I dreamt of a blue crane; she woke me from my sleep. She was silhouetted against a morning sky beneath the spreading branches of a huge cypress tree. The rising sun encircled her as she stood ankle deep in a shimmering pool of water. She was only there for a moment.
Later, when I meditated, I imagined her again and as the stillness settled in, I saw her embrace the sky and rise, her long wings gripping the air, pushing herself upwards. My breath began to fall into the rhythm of her wings. As she gathered more sky, I gathered more breath and as she pushed down, my chest emptied. Together we transformed, I became her, and she became me, we became one.
We rose through darkened clouds breaking into a dimly lit evening sky. From above our great earth, I could see a huge storm swirling beneath us blocking the lights from below. We flew on.
The sky grew darker as we journeyed past earth’s door, the stillness thickening with each beat of our wings until it became as thick as water. I watched our wings adjust, the fine feathers changing into what looked to be grey leather. We transformed from a crane into a huge manta ray swimming in an endless sea of black, and still we breathed as one.
In spite of the blackness I could still see, not with my physical vision, but with the consciousness of my being. Speckles of light danced in the dark like swarms of krill, each individual producing a spark. I knew that it was just energy biding its time, waiting until it was called upon to transform and shine.
Ahead I saw a shimmering sea, a mirage in the ocean of black, an endless sea surrounded by nothing, floating in the emptiness of time.
Each stroke of the great manta’s fins brought us closer till we reached its shimmering shore and then as if by magic, I felt myself return to my human form. My feet and legs formed behind me trailing down in a gentle arch towards the beach. The great gray fins dissolved as my arms returned to their accustomed form.
I took a couple of steps across the sand to regain my balance and lowered my arms to my side. I looked up and out across an endless ocean and oh what wonder I began to see. I instantly realized I was standing on sand made of crystallized time on the shore of the Infinite Sea of Possibility.