I dream of cats and hummingbirds. I am in a small walled outdoor space where a cement slab overhang juts out from the building. There is an airy gap between the overhang and the top of the wall, open sky visible to the southwest. I meet a skinny Calico girl cat who makes me want to love her. Reluctant, I put her down. I don’t want to collect more animals because one day I need to be free to walk the Camino de Santiago. There are many of us in the walled space, mostly birds and mammals, I believe, though besides meeting the cat I don’t focus in. I sense this place is a shelter for all life though maybe not of this world. I am with a younger woman who I don’t know. She lives here, I think, or works here, and is showing me around. She has a pale, narrow face and dyed black hair that falls straight and glossy below her shoulders. There is an iridescent purple near her left cheek, a big metal earring catching the light, or maybe a streak of color in her black hair. I watch as a hummingbird alights near her right shoulder, makes itself comfortable against her neck. The woman is unsurprised. “Oh my,” I say. I gape at them. “Never before,” I breathe. And then I feel a fluttering near my own shoulder, my left. I know without being able to see it is a hummingbird. She nestles into the dip above my collar bone. I know by the quick movements of her beak she is preening, supported by my body. The feel of her reminds me of the same trusting way Boo will lean against me in bed, his gentle weight rocking as he licks his black fur clean. My heart goes soft with memory and with the tiny bird cradled against me now, the honor I feel, this gift of surrender. After, I stand awake before the bathroom mirror curious to see how much room she really had. I rub my fingers back and forth along the curved space behind my collar bone. I can still feel her soft fluttering against my skin.
Riba — Your entry takes me to the edge of the “airy gap” near the overhang. feeling breathless after reading it.
Oh, thank you, Laurie! The patio and the animals and the sense of it all being part of a larger organization, even a complex maybe, is reminiscent of an earlier dream of mine. Happy to have you point to the airy gap because I wondered as I was revising if more things needed to be dropped off. And this description would likely have been one of them. Makes me feel like I weeded out just enough.
Thanks again. Such a nice thing to hear! :)