The Waking Dream: Reading Life by Watching Wildlife (Watching the Signs)

It’s sounds a bit like reading sign as in tracking wildlife, but decoding the waking dream is actually a wildlife-watching art unto itself. Those who lived closely bound to the wild, such as Native Americans before the white man came, most certainly knew how to read this particular Book of Life far better than I do…but even for me, the messages are often loud and clear.

In hindsight, anyway. Before the fact, subtlety sometimes has its say as well. In early October of 2016, a prime example surfaced. In our “back porch” which houses the hot water heater plus various tools and maintenance supplies, I came across a lo-ong snake skin. More than five feet long when the broken pieces were pieced together. Aside from being glad I’d not come across the snake itself, however, I didn’t think much about it except to locate the hole in the door weather stripping that had allowed the red racer access and to nail boards in front of said hole to prevent a recurrence.

What I did not realize was the waking dream message: My wife was staying with her daughter’s family in Utah and I was on my own at the Border Fort in Arizona, but we were about to go through a huge transformation comparable to a snake shedding its skin and then some.

The back porch where I found the snake skin.  I would not have cared to wrestle the snake who'd shed said skin and was glad it was long gone.

The back porch where I found the snake skin. I would not have cared to wrestle the snake who’d shed said skin and was glad it was long gone.

The snake skin (main portion--the last 10 inches of tail skin was broken off separately.

The snake skin (main portion–the last 10 inches of tail skin was broken off separately).

Face time.

Face time.

The hole under the door that gave the snake access to the porch.

The hole under the door that gave the snake access to the porch.

Snake-stopper boards, nailed in place by flashlight.  (No, with a hammer; the flashlight was only used for, you know, light.)

Snake-stopper boards, nailed in place by flashlight. (No, with a hammer; the flashlight was only used for, you know, light.)

That was subtle. The next clue was not. Shortly before leaving Arizona on a trip that would take me to the Eckankar World Wide Seminar in Minneapolis and then over to Utah to pick up Pam on the return trip, I rounded the corner of the truck to find a pitiful little songbird, feetsies up and curled, stone cold dead. The sight struck me so strongly that I buried the little flyer in our pet cemetery, complete with marker stone.

I knew this was a powerful waking dream. What I had yet to discover was what it portended: My wife was about to face Death, stare the old boy right in the face–and as it turned out, spit in Death’s eye, but it could have gone either way.

One of Pam’s nicknames, unquestionably the one by which she is best known to the most people, is…Tweety Bird. I got that much, and yes, it did make me nervous. But the drama had yet to play out. There was a tiny blood mark on the left side of the bird’s chest as if it had been pierced by something very thin, like a mesquite thorn or something, but no other indication of violence.

Tweety Bird, stone cold dead, found next to the driver's side rear wheel of my pickup truck.

Tweety Bird, stone cold dead, found next to the driver’s side rear wheel of my pickup truck.

Off I went to Minnesota. On the way from there to pick up Pam in Utah, I was informed by Pam during a phone call that she was experiencing a psychotic episode. These are not unknown for my sweetheart, but I figured once we were headed south together we could weather it. I was wrong. Her psychosis worsened all the way. On October 25th, around 5:00 p.m., she and I got her checked in at the local hospital as a psychiatric emergency case. Two days later, with her lungs failing and still no sign of abatement in the crazy department, she was intubated and sedated. By the end, she had seven days in one hospital, ten in another, a Life Flight between the two, and a trip to a hospice to, you know, die.

Except she didn’t die. Being told she was going to die made her angry, and there’s nothing more powerful than an angry redhead when it comes to defying the odds. Instead of kicking the bucket in hospice, she was released four and one half days later, battered and far from well but still very much alive–and thankfully in her right mind. Four days after her hospice release, we headed back to Utah, where she remains today, happily ensconced in a mother-in-law apartment at her daughter’s house. She loves that apartment while I, quite frankly, love the relative peace and quiet here at the Border Fort as I work to rid myself of the sinusitis I contracted the day she was first intubated.

There is no doubt in my mind that Pam, as Soul, did have the option of either staying here or translating–i.e. dying, going on to the higher worlds.

Today, feeling somewhat better physically and in a more upbeat mood than I’d been for a while, I happened to look out the kitchen window and spotted a rather perky roadrunner doing its thing. Nothing is livelier than a roadrunner; just ask Wile E. Coyote. There were also a couple of Wile E.’s that showed up farther out at a different time, two young pups just growing into their long legs and not yet overly wary of the quiet human and his camera. Plus, finally, a line of eight blacktail deer crossing the driveway, grazing as they went. (Strange grazing among those driveway rocks, but they did it.)

What did all of this mean, this abundance of wildlife sightings on this particular day? To me, it meant the renewal of life, the reassurance that just as Pam is more calm and balanced and happy now than she’s been in a long time (and therefore so am I), the critters here at the Border Fort are doing their thing, their Affirmation of Life.

Coyote pups.

Coyote pups.

Roadrunner.

Roadrunner.

Doe.

Doe.

Buck.

Buck.

deer-and-roadrunner-055

So, am I imaging all this stuff? Is it all in my head? Could be. But it’s my reality, and I’m glad it’s that way.

4 thoughts on “The Waking Dream: Reading Life by Watching Wildlife (Watching the Signs)

  1. That’s amazing, Ghost. I think your assessment of all these instances are spot on. Especially, all the wildlife appearing in your yard on the same day. Kinda hard to ignore, isn’t it?

    I’m so glad everything’s working out. I wish you and Pam could be together, but all has fallen into place – and the right place.

    Love you both!
    Sha

  2. Thanks, Sha. The wildlife “waking dream” signs are indeed rather hard to ignore. And everything does seem to be working out, more or less anyway. Her Medicare application was approved, and while Part B didn’t kick in until December (thus missing the hospitalization costs), Part A was backdated by the Social Security System to her birthday month of September (which is when she turned 65)–so the truly huge items, inpatient hospitalization (and hopefully the Life Flight) WILL be covered. YAY!

    As for Pam and me being together, for me our relationship has never been so much about that. Instead, it was (and is) always about what’s best for her, is she happy, and is the decision to be where she’s at any given time her own decision? And right now especially, I believe we need to have some physical separation for both of us to heal up as much as possible.

    Love you, too, and I’ll pass yours to on to Pam.

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