Dreaming the World Alive - by Tom Wells

What lies within me? Within the glassy still pond of my inner world? Right now, I’m noticing a very, very large scum-green-brown dappled catfish! It sleeps on the bottom of the deepest reaches of my watery world, sleeping there unknown, undisturbed. Breathing the ancient timeless breaths of a long winters hibernation.

The waters are warming now, and my spring will certainly come early this year, but perhaps, or should I say, for certain, at the right time. She sleeps, her tail toward me, her head obscured in the murky darkness, and in spite of the muted blending green grayness, fading to black, I can see the massive outline of her fat, muscled body.

Is she yet dreaming the world back to life? Is she patiently awaiting the return of the light, or is she herself the creator of the life force we all depend upon?

I settle in, listening, feeling her gently rise and swell with each interminably long breath, her dreams holding together all the wide shore of upside down golden reeds and winter-stripped sprays of vein-like tree branches, black against the water in their naked starkness.

The geese alight somewhere high over her head, in a clumsy splash of raucous honking and chatter. But like festival revelers stumbling drunkenly into the sanctuary of the village church, the awe of her still world quickly silences them. Then as quick as they had stumbled in, they stumble out, honking and bellowing again in their celebration.

There is a delicateness to this life, a special reverence, a tenderness, even in all its immensity. It dreams, she dreams, so very much alive, yet so steeped in patience. There is a wisdom in that patience, in that knowing and acceptance of how life is ever-emerging from this dream, yet ever -dreaming as well.

And we, the festival revelers, stumbling in and stumbling out, drunken in love and raucous laughter, riding on the spreading green back of her dreaming all of this alive for us.