Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Signs and Portends

Last night I dreamed that we were going for a walk in the woods when my husband I both had a sudden vision where we were instructed to continue walking.  We would find a cottage in the woods run on solar power.  And when the comet fell from the sky striking the long dead tree, it would start the furnace for a forge we were to keep until the fire went cold.  But we would not be allowed to let the fire go cold of our own or we would die.  There were a couple of other conditions:  we had to leave our lives and identities behind, my husband had to till the land, I would have to raise and teach our boys, we must always be faithful to each other, and we would have to be inside before full dark.  It all depended on whether or not the comet fell.

We came to from our instant vision, both standing but dazed while our boys, one two and the other five, ran around in circles around us laughing carefree.  We looked at each other, not saying a word, certain we'd had the same vision and continued our walk in the woods.  When suddenly, we came across the cottage.  The boys wanted to go explore it, so much as I would rather not, we did.  There was a sign on the front that said, "Enter and be welcome."  At the encouraging of our kids, we did.  It was nice enough.  Refrigerator run by the solar power.  Minimal electricity.  A fire place.  We went back to the truck and got groceries and put celery, carrots, broccoli and other fresh vegetables in the fridge.  It was our way of paying back having entered.

As we left the cottage, suddenly, a comet rocketed out of the sky, striking the enormous long dead tree on the hill beside us with a giant fire ball.  My honey and I exchanged glances and knew we were trapped or dead.  Damn.  No good grocery trip goes unpunished.

And so we made sure the fire kept burning, using it to forge tools and nails and other needed bits.  No idea where all the metal came from, nor the knowledge of forging, but there it was.  Ditto for the farming.  But we were good at it.  As winter approached, my husband's only objection was that he didn't have time to go get his leather coat, but I had five of my coats in the truck, so he took to layering two of them at a time.

Years passed successfully, and if that ain't a sign of a miracle, I'm not sure what is.  The fridge was never empty, the crops flourished, there was always enough wood, there was no television...it was quiet, but we were happy enough considering we were already basically dead to the world, or at least everyone in -our- worlds that had mattered.

Then one afternoon, three years on, in this enforced semi-eco friendly monotony, I took my oldest, now 8 with me on a trip into town to get groceries.  At the grocery store, my truck stopped running and a kind, attractive, young gentleman offered to give us a ride.  We accepted and he kept trying to flirt with me, but I did not flirt back as I didn't want my husband to drop dead at home.  We gave no details.  He said he just needed to make a quick stop at his Aunt's job.

And then he stopped at what looked like a cross between an enormous aquarium and a swimming pool.  We all went inside and his Aunt took an immediate like and interest in my boy and I.  We watched as she changed the water, turning over brilliantly colored corals and sponges and reintroduced the water critters to this enormous tank.  As we looked from the outside, I thought I saw a merboy.  She said I wasn't far off, but it was actually a type of fish, not a human cross breed.  Then she provided us with swimsuits that fit perfectly and we went swimming.

Neither of us had any difficulty swimming and we could breathe and talk under water.  I came up, sitting on the edge with my feet in the water and he stayed down there, charming the other merchildren.  I looked down at him, happy to see him happy, and he looked up at me, smiled and wave.

She told me they had really taken a shine to him and that he was great at story telling and suddenly I feared that he might remember and start to tell them about us from before, and such a lapse would lead to our immediately smiting.  So I gathered him up and we quickly changed into our own clothes.  Her nephew had long left, but I suddenly recognized our old neighborhood and thought-- hey!  Maybe our car is still there!

So my boy and I walked around and there it was-- our house; Our life we had been forced to walk away from because of a fireball in the sky.  As I approached, you could tell the house, hell, the entire neighborhood, was long abandoned.  But our door was ajar and there was movement within.

Cautiously, we approached and it was my husband, looking for his leather coat.  While my youngest son sat on the couch with his old nabi.  Everything had been left exactly as it had been the day we vanished.  As he snagged his coat, I glanced out the window and realized the sun was starting to set.  We would need to rush if we were going to make it back to the cottage before dark.

And in that moment, I looked at him and he looked at me, and we unanimously and without any words decided we would no longer live in fear of 'what if''.  "What if the vision was real?"  "What if not obeying these rules and living a life we want to would kill us?" "What if we stop tending the fire?" ..."What if we didn't go back before dark?"

We decided we wouldn't go back.  And we stood there holding hands in the middle of our abandoned living room, our children playing with legos long lost and laughing, while we watched the setting of the sun, waiting...waiting to see if it would be our last....waiting to see if it would be our first...just waiting.  But together.

As it touched the horizon and the last rays of daylight faded, my alarm clock went off and I woke up.

I won't ever really know, but I like to think maybe it worked out as my dream self getting to return to my life, maybe a little smarter about not following signs and portends...even if they do come with predicted fire balls.

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