Careful Steps

I dreamed that I had died and that my mind and spirit were still awake in my dead body, which was lying on the ground in the redwood forest. An eagle picked me up and carried my corpse into one of the highest tree tops and sat me down in his nest, where he began to chew on me. Since I was dead I couldn’t feel him eating me, but I knew what he was doing and I couldn’t stop him. All I really could do was lay there and wonder to myself whether he was enjoying his feast.

An arm would come off, an eyeball pop out, and yet somehow I felt like laughing inside because nothing hurt anywhere, and nothing he could do to me changed my happy disposition. Other birds, I think hawks because many of them live near by, began to swoop in for the smaller and more delicate pieces of me. A toe, a finger, an ear–slowly, at first, the pieces of me would go flying away from the nest. When the tasty pieces of meat were chewed down to the bone, the birds would then drop my bones from out of the sky and into the forest.

I couldn’t really feel my bones fall. I was dead anyhow and had no feeling, but some element of my mind and spirit was contained in each of the pieces that had been separated from my corpse. As each bone would fall through the limbs and branches on the trees, I would not feel the gravity pulling down on these lifeless entities, but I could sense a strange exhilaration and composure that I was reconnecting with the earth and the forest. I considered as my pieces came to rest in various places that maybe it is like that with people I have known who thought they had evacuated the planet.

My mind and spirit did not feel like they needed any more fleshy body, even though I was aware that I had lost mine. Rather, I perceived that other people had also lost their flesh and some of it was scattered near by me. Some were the bones of ancient people, stone-age hunters and gatherers who had been gobbled up by tigers and wolves; some had been more civilized modern types who had bone heaps piled in deep holes in the ground for safe keeping. I could not see any of this, and was not disturbed that I could not see, but sensed a community of togetherness with all around me. An invisible people who were happy and enjoying each other’s presence, not through talking, or touching, or feeling, but through what I can only describe as a sort of soulful listening. All with some awareness that formerly they had been citizens of the earth.

I know today that it was only a dream. Had I gained an understanding of my actual waking life that I could not otherwise experience or comprehend when awake? When I rake freshly fallen leaves around my house today, I’ll be more careful where I step.

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