Old-Child

Old-Child

This dream is from years ago, but it still feels like it happened yesterday.

I can feel the crunch of the snow beneath my feet, hear the creak of the old metal swing set, feel the rush of the wind as I soared over the dark trees below. You know how some dreams start in the middle?

I was outside of my elementary school, in front, where the buses usually parked. It was dark, but the street lamps blazed so bright it was almost blinding. I shielded my eyes with a damp mitten, and could see the stars twinkle coldly above. I was a child, but I was old. So very old.

I crunched across the snowy lot, to the playground. The only sound was my footsteps, and the whistling wind. I was alone, but I sensed the presence of many around me, shadows of others, souls, invisible to the naked eye. They were still.

Then I saw the geese, spread out in the open field. One was apart from the others, and I approached slowly.

“Brother Goose, please give me a feather, so I may fly as you do.” I bowed respectfully. The goose stood tall, proud, his soft grey-brown feathers ruffling in the wind. He dipped his head, and plucked a feather from his wing. He extended his neck, and I took the feather. I was aloft.

The sun was coming. I could see the outlines of the hills below dark with trees, white with snow beneath. The farther I flew, the lighter it got, winter was turning to fall.

The dream shifted, and I was in the woods, an adult. It was autumn; the crunch beneath my feet was from brown leaves, not glistening snow. I knew this place.

There were a few huts made of branches, platforms in each. I stepped into the largest structure, and the three beirs in front of me were covered in leaves and dust. An ancient resting site.

Two were occupied with the bones of my siblings. The center stood empty.

I took my place.

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