Last night, I had a dream with snakes in it. In and of itself, this may not be remarkable, except that it was not a nightmare. Starting at the very tail end of 2006, going all the way through 2007 (that wonderful year) and into the beginning of 2008, I was regularly having nightmares in which I was being threatened by snakes. Not colorful diamondbacks, or sinuous cobras, the snakes of my nightmares were thick in body, dull black in color, silent and scary. They would appear out of nowhere, from under doors, through restaurant walls, from swamps that would suddenly appear in my yard, always going after me, and getting between me and whatever symbolized safety in the dream.
Whatever the message was, whatever the test or assignment was, I clearly wasn't getting it, because by autumn of 2007, the snakes were joined by alligators (or crocodiles-I never got close enough to see which they were). This went on through the beginning of the New Year. (Every now and then, when someone would complain to me about not remember most of their dreams, my response would be “sometimes that can be a good thing.”) And, then, toward the end of February, I dreamt of climbing through a brushy waste, and about to step on a log, realizing that it was an alligator (or croc). I stepped back, the alligator (or croc) looked at me, and left me alone.
Last night, I dreamt of releasing baskets of snakes in an animal preserve. The snakes flowed over the edges of the baskets, gracefully. They were beautifully colored and patterned. Their tongues tasted the air. Each snake looked at me, and then slithered off. I felt satisfaction for a job well done. It was only when I woke up that I realized that this was my first snake dream since January, and I didn't wake up trying to scream or cry out.
But it still leaves me with the question: what job was it that I had done? I realize the PTB (Powers That Be, to those of you who never watched any of the shows in the Whedonverse) have no requirement to make things easy for me. But if I've learned an important lesson, or passed a test, I would dearly like to know what it was. I know there will be others, I would love it, if the I didn't need that kind of “encouragement” next time.
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