4:12am

I awake. Was it the rustle of the wind through the trees that awoke me? Or the chatter of the birds? Perhaps the first rays of dawn shining through the window?

“No. It is still dark outside,” say the twinkle of the stars.

“Go outside,” a voice whispers firmly in my ear.

I slide my feet into my sandals. Still in my pajamas, I grab a sweater and quietly open the door, careful not to awaken my roommates. Oh wait, there is only one. The other seems to have not returned from the festivities of the previous night.

All is quiet in the lit courtyard. Not a soul in sight. Not even the early risers. It is that hour of the day when one is not sure whether to call it morning or night. I walk down the stairs, through the courtyard, and across the grass, to the tall Eucalyptus trees that line the shore of the Galilee. There I slip off my sandals. Cool grass on my naked feet. I step carefully in the darkness. The wind seems to whip the water into a frothy white. It seems a storm is near. And yet, I feel invited.

I climb carefully into the womb that is a knot in the Mother Eucalyptus. There I barely fit, feet drawn close, knees to my chest. And there, in that safe embrace, protected from the wind, in the cover of darkness the tears come. Released from the night before, they bless my cheeks. I let them flow, my body sighing into the Earth Mother’s embrace. And soon the tears are replaced by a profound peace. And I rest.

I watch the white caps settle and the wind soften. The clouds clear revealing the same stars my ancestors saw. And now the sky begins to lighten, hinting at the sun to come.

I shift my body, looking to stretch my feet. And a tickle begins. In the predawn light my eyes do not see. But my hands brush away the tickles. And my mind connects.

“Ants! Have they been crawling on me all along?”

I jump nimbly down, and brush some more. But somehow it seems that it was only in my shifting that I had disturbed these little creatures. And soon I laugh at my momentary panic.

“Who am I not to trust that Earth Mother was taking care of me and would allow no real harm to come?”

I walk along the grass and find myself at the playground slide. Here I lie again. And here I stay until the last star fades and the birds begin to sing and the sun rises. Until the first early risers walk out to greet the day.

And gently I reenter the human world. Eyes of others notice me and look inquisitively. Perhaps my pajamas betray that I have been here a while. Or perhaps they wonder what caused such peace in the features of my tear stained face.

As my mind awakens I wonder about the Ants. And so I return to the Mother Eucalyptus. Something tells me, approach from the other side. The South side, rather than the North. And so I do. And as I reach my womb I see my little companions, like disciplined soldiers they march from the South. I follow their line, which weaves around the edge of her sacred womb. And so I see how I curled up safely inside, guarded by her little warriors. But when I stirred, indicating readiness to leave, that had been when I had disrupted their valiant march.

Ahhh, how Mother cares for her kin.

I give thanks to my little warriors, and thanks to the tree, and to the wind and the water and the sun. And the stars and the moon that have since faded. And to the cool damp ground beneath. And with care I step over the Ant procession. And with Awe in my eyes and Peace in my heart I return to the warmth of my bed.

Know, this was no dream.

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