(image courtesy of http://thegraphicsfairy.com )

Dream: I’m at some kind of gathering…it’s outdoors. A woman a few years older than me has a tent with several raptors. She has an owl perching on her left hand. She asks if I want to meet the owl. Of course I do. I hold up my left hand, and Owl steps onto it. She’s very lightweight. We touch foreheads, and she (Owl) stays with me for the rest of the dream (which I don’t remember).

I woke up smiling this morning. Owls are a mature woman’s totem, a symbol of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and arts. Could it be that I am finally nearing the end of the ride on the menopausal crazy train? Will my wise flow soon be stored inside? I hope this is a sign of that. I hope that the touch of our foreheads imparted the wisdom of the ages to me, and that when the time comes, I can share it as needed and appropriate.

In the broader world at this time of year, the conversational call of the barn owls punctuate late afternoon walks with Oakley at the forest preserve. They have been kind enough to acknowledge my calls and response, perhaps taken a bit aback by my efforts.

The elongated who-o-o-s are not just a request for identification, but a question to contemplate as the northern world descends into the short days between Halloween and winter Solstice: who am I, really?

More importantly, who do I want to become in this about-to-be written chapter?

At this stage of the game, all I can do is get out of my own way and let myself evolve.

As Solstice Comes

The moisture falling from this morning’s leaden sky vacillates between gentle rain drops and the harsh rattle of sleet. The grass shimmers a little in the faint light from the glaze.

We retreat inside. Oakley is in no hurry to go anywhere, and with the roads likely growing slick, neither am I. I cooked a lot of Indian food yesterday, so we have curried chicken, spiced chickpeas, and rice to warm the day. Will we get out for a proper walk at the forest preserve today? I hope so.

A hawk followed us the other day. Every few steps, he took off from his branch, parted the air with his wings, and glided over our heads to a tree further down the path. He followed us until we returned to the parking lot, then wheeled to the west, the dimming light silvering his belly.

I think I had a discussion with an owl the other day. Hoo-hoo-hoohoo, she called. I hoo-hoo’d in response. After a pause, she responded. Did I say something comprehensible in raptor? I don’t know. Still gave me chills.

In a matter of days, the trajectory of the sun will follow the train tracks at the entrance of our nearest forest preserve, sinking into the western horizon as if traveling along them. Skies permitting, Oakley and I will watch. Not too long, since sunset is closing time for parks and preserves around here. But long enough to acknowledge the passage into the winter, and long enough to lift a prayer that the coming light illuminates the hearts of all.