Asked for a Dream, Found a Poem

Saturday was my birthday. Friday evening before falling asleep, I asked for a special dream message for the year ahead – for in past years, certain birthday dreams have held great significance. I think of them as birthday gifts from my higher Self.

I dreamed of a partly gray, partly blue sky with interesting clouds. As usual in my dreams, I couldn’t retrieve my camera in time; by the time I found it and headed outdoors, the clouds had changed, and I noticed some dredging equipment passing by on the river in front of our house. I realized it was the first day of another dredging season, and that made me very sad. I woke up sobbing.

Not exactly the kind of dream I was hoping for. But it was a sunny (albeit frigid) morning, and it wasn’t long before I knew exactly what to do next: Take a walk along the river. The insights I had during my walk, and the way I felt as a result of being alone in nature, helped me realize that nature would be my medicine and would support me through whatever real or metaphoric dredging may occur this year.

Some poems whisper through the air, and I catch them in a net, fully formed. Other times, I string insights together like beads on a necklace, with an eye for patterns. The latter is how the poem (below) came about. It feels as if the dream was incomplete on its own and needed the poem to complete it. It’s about longing for one thing but finding something else.

Later that morning, I noticed one small tree covered with hoarfrost by the dam. It was the only tree anywhere I could see that was coated with frost. But that little tree called to me from across the river, and I had to get a closer look, so I strapped on my snowshoes. Once I got as close as I could, there was a lot of brush and a huge drop (involving icy water) between the tree and me, so I wasn’t able to photograph it, but I kept snowshoeing and discovered other intriguing sights that I wouldn’t have seen if the tiny, frosted tree hadn’t lured me in that direction. Longing for one thing and finding something else was the clear theme of the day. And how interesting that the clouds I saw while snowshoeing looked very much like the clouds in my dream…

The First of March: A Birthday Poem

I set out in search
of a snowy owl
but found a robin
chirping sunrise song
high in the treetop
and an unseen woodpecker
drilling in the distance.

I walk, heart longing
for a certain thing
then stop to wonder:
Am I seeking
in the direction,
at the angle,
through the sense
that offers the best
perspective?

Sometimes the crunch
of our own footsteps
drowns out such life
and delight!
May we remember
to stand still even
in the deep chill of Winter
and Listen
beyond what we want to hear,
be still and See
more than we are looking for —
and receive the unexpected
offerings revealed.

This morning, I searched
for a landscape
and found a song,
asked for a dream
and found a poem.

It is the longing
that sends me deeper
into wilderness and solitude
than I would go otherwise:
The blessed longing
that opens my senses,
propels me to communion,
and fuels my life.

-Susan Meyer

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© Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all text and photos, without express and written permission from this website’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss Photography (www.river-bliss.com) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.