My sleep, last night, was filled with dreams. Normally. people dream periodically during sleep. Sometimes we remember our dreams, sometimes we do not. If we are lucky, animals enter our dreaming. Often, they show themselves in order to teach us. Last night animals animated my dreams, taking off their pelts to remind me they, too, are peoples.
I use the term, animal, broadly, including any living creature that is not a plant. Mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and aquatic life may enter our dreaming. So, too, may mythological creatures. Even microbes may enter. These beings share life with us. They also have unique points of view and life experiences. In our dreams they share both what we hold in common, and their unique perspectives.In doing so, they offer us wisdom.
Last night the animals remind me to include them in my healing work. They encouraged me to engage more fully with them and to teach what I learn from those encounters. They removed their skins and began to teach about the ways, knowledges, and healing skills of their species. Within each animal was a person. The animals gently teased me about my inability to take off my skin. “You humans are so one-dimensional,” they seemed to say.
The tricksters among them expressed glee at my feeble attempts to speak to the wisdom ways of us humans. The tricksters, the creators of the world, laughed playfully as they pointed how dull our world would be without them, and out how most of us human beings would rather avoid them. As one of my teachers said, upon learning one of my closest animal companions is a trickster, “Better you than me!” Danger, sex, life drama, and the arts are their domains. Chaos often follows their appearance, so do innovation, and frequently, renewal. Still, we see them as the enemy, and do our best to drive them from our farms, ranches, even lives.
This morning, as I write, rain falls heavily for the first time in weeks. The world has been parched, and now drinks deeply of the renewing waters. I am left wondering about the timing of the animal’s nighttime visit. Both the animals and the rain offer renewal. Perchance they are dancing into our world together, reminding us they were here long before us, and inviting us to open to their unique knowledges and skills. Perhaps, just perhaps, they are inviting us to take off our skins, and discover our shared heritage.