Dream, 21st April, Christopher

I am inside looking out at a small triangular-shaped tree. It is shaped like a Christmas tree but I know it to be a deciduous tree of some kind. When I look more closely I see that there are several owls distributed throughout the tree, all looking very large compared to the scale of the tree, and all facing fully outwards with the same silhouette. They look like very large Christmas ornaments. I know they are owls because of their shape. It is too dark to see them in detail but I think they are tawny owls. For some reason each of them is glowing slightly out of the dark tree. Someone says, ‘There are 10 of them’, or some such number, I can’t now remember what number was said. I count and I see that there are even more than 10. The sight of the owls thrills me. In waking life I am always hopeful or sighting an owl, but living in London never do. Once, when I was in New York a red-tailed hawk came and landed on the balcony rail outside my window just a few feet away from me. And then, months later, in a different part of New York, a baby red-tailed hawk, probably taking its first flight, hit the window with a thump. I heard the noise and when I went to look there was the baby raptor waddling back and forth across the balcony, before it once again took flight seemingly unharmed. The experiences felt like gifts from the gods. In the dream, we go outside and stand mesmerised looking at the tree and the owls. And then suddenly one of the owl flies straight towards me. I am worried that it will land on my hand and its talons will rip into my flesh, but it hits me gently, headfirst, in my lower abdomen, buries itself into my clothing. I hold it closely to me. What a wonderful feeling? Eventually I gently let it go and it lands on the ground. I think, ‘I should have thrown it into the air because now it is going to find it hard to take off from the ground and what if a cat comes?’ I am partly awake by now, determined to remember such a vivid dream, and I think: I don’t want the cat to come, I want the owl to be safe. I decide that it is safe and wake myself up. Sometimes I dream dreams that are clearly rooted in the ancient world. This feels like one of those dreams. I can’t but help think of the owl as the symbol of wisdom represented by Minerva/Athena. But now I write this account I notice that I have used the word Christmas twice. My name is Christopher and for years now, ever since my brother first started doing so, I have signed my name Xopher as in Xmas.

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