Sunlight flickered through the canopy of leaves above, through the swaying treetops, filtering golden light onto my path. They seemed afire, the treetops, all red and orange and yellow, and now and then the wind would glide past and make their dying leaves loose themselves and flitter down in silence like gentle rain. The fallen Autumn leaves carpeted my path, and my footfalls made a mashing sound upon them as I trod along. I continued on this path, winding between pillars of Oak and Birch and Evergreen, and reveled in the fragrance of them with every deep breath. Scents of green, fresh, living things mingled with brown, molding, dying things. I could smell the rich and living earth beneath me, aromas of minerals and growth…it smelled like potatoes freshly pulled from the ground- nourishing. I walked, on and on, into the darkening, damp woods. The trees followed me, whispering to each other my progress on the path. I felt them close the path behind me, spreading their branches out, around, and above me. Perhaps sheltering me, perhaps trapping me. I felt they were still deciding what to do with me. A strange stillness fell around me, a hushed and suspended silence, a suspension of sorts… it seemed to me the Forest was holding its breath, wanting to reveal itself fully to me, but waiting…waiting for permission, maybe. I carried on, deeper into the shadows, swallowed further by the thickening woods with every step. I could not stop nor turn back. I would have to harness my mounting fears and hold fast to the trail. Dusk had fallen. The woods came down and around me, trapping me in a globe of darkness. My skin quivered at the chill wrapping around me. It would soon be too dark to see. Nevertheless, I continued along the leafy trail and promised myself I would be safe as long as I did not stray. I held my hands down at my sides and slightly away, feeling for branches and bushes sticking out into my path. As my hands and fingers groped in the dark, I suddenly felt something brush against me. It moved under my left hand, tickling me. I felt the heat from its body rising into my palm. I reached for it and felt coarse fur mixed with soft. Its muscles and bones rose and fell beneath its skin as it aligned its steps with mine. I could not see it fully for the darkness, but I knew it was an enormous and powerful animal. My intuition told me it was a wolf. I looked for its eyes and found them looking up at me, glowing like embers in a fire, like amber in sunlight. Suddenly, I knew him. I knew of him, I knew his past and present and future; and I can’t explain how I understood this, I just did. It was like being told a Truth I had always sought. He was there for me. I closed my hand into his shoulders, into a handful of his fur and held on. I let him guide me along the path. The way ahead was black, and though my eyes were as wide as they could be, I could see nothing around me, only blackness, only uncertainty. But the wolf was there, and I was not afraid. I knew I would be protected from any lurking harm and led somewhere safe. We walked together all night long until the forest began to fill with golden light again. A new day was approaching. Birds suddenly appeared, flitting tree to tree above our heads, chirping and singing their full-throated songs as they followed us. Deer fed on soft grass sprouting up through the fallen leaves, their soft brown eyes watching us with curiosity, then resignation, as we went by. They were not in the least afraid of the human woman, or the wolf, walking with her. We finally arrived at an opening and looked up at the sky, its blended hues of pink and violet and deep blue brightening by the rising sun at every moment. We walked to the edge of a promontory jutting out over a vast lake encircled by snowy-topped mountains. The lake was like a plane of glass, its surface mirroring its surrounds. I stood still, breathing softly, in and out, in and out, inhaling all the still, silent calm my eyes beheld. The wolf sat at my heels and leaned against my legs. I sat down with him and we both took our rest. I felt the power of the wolf next to me, the one who had delivered me from the dark forest, from my fear, and brought me to this place… this place that seemed the true home of our Creator. My spirit filled with Beauty and Light and began to overflow with the purest feelings of Love…it was almost too much for me to feel in my tiny human heart, I felt I would burst with joy. My wolf sat with me there until I awoke, curled and comfortable in the blankets and pillows of my bed.
The Forest Wolf dream is from 2006. Sometime before, I had decided to let go of my relationship with my fiance. He was in a terrible dirtbike accident in August of 2005 and sustained a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for approximately four months. He never fully recovered from that; he suffered short term memory loss and needed a feeding tube and another to help him breathe. He was always so surprised when I would tell him we were engaged. He was moved to his dad’s house once he was finally released from the hospital. It was about a six hour drive for me each way. I made that drive every other weekend for almost a year. It was so difficult. It all was so difficult and sad. I prayed and prayed and never felt closer to God in my life than I did during that time. He was a constant and comforting presence. With some nudging from those Higher Beings who know what’s best for me, I decided to stop making those trips and finally let him go, let myself go from that relationship that had no more future. I felt incredibly guilty, doubly heartbroken. I still carry some guilt about leaving someone I had loved so much when he needed me the most. But it had to be done. It was the only, and right, decision for me. I didn’t know it then, but I had been living in the shadows of depression. Not long after I stopped making the long drives to Northern California, I began to have “the dreams.” Now, I had experienced vivid and lucid dreaming all my life, but never thought to record them. I was so young and didn’t put much stock into my dreams. They must not have been so profound because I wasn’t yet ready to understand them. But this one, The Forest Wolf, came to me a few months after I left that relationship. It changed my life. It CHANGED MY LIFE. I understood a need for balance in my life and how all things move through seasons; times of life and death, times of light and dark, and no matter what, I must continue moving forward. I was given a powerful guide to see me through and stay with me to provide comfort and support, to show me that believing in love, in something greater than myself and holding fast, will lead me through the darkness in life to places of peace.
Look for similar symbols and images in your dreams. Begin to write them down and date them. Give them titles for they are stories, they are telling the story of YOU. They provide guidance, they answer questions. You can learn to dream this way. Before you fall asleep, ask yourself to remember your dreams, and to recognize when you are dreaming. This will help you become an active participant. Say something like, “Please help me remember my dreams tonight and allow me to know when I am dreaming so that I might actively take part in it.” If you desire an answer to a question, to gain some clarity on a situation, ask this, “Please help me understand what’s going on with (whatever the issue is) and show me a way to alleviate it. Also, please allow me to remember the guidance you provide.” Say this every night until you receive the help you requested. You must approach this without expectations. You must be patient. Most of all, you must believe. Be open. Be receptive. The dreams may be fuzzy when you first try, but they will sharpen into crystal clear images with practice.
Remember, Spirit doesn’t always give you what you want. Spirit is more likely to give you what you need.