Dream Gates

Thumbnail image for mare and foal.jpgI’ve been writing a lot about women and horses recently, for example in my recent essay here on Dream Horses.

I received a beautiful account of a horse dream that carried a woman through the pain of a bruising divorce. It gave her the courage to cross a continent, as a single mother with young kids, and make a new life that included writing and publishing a first novel. Her name is Michele Lewis and I’ll let her tell her story in her own words.

“My life would have been very different without the horse dream.
“The dream occurred after my very painful divorce.  I had two small children, aged two and five, and I was torn.  I felt called to leave our home in Maine and move to Colorado. I wanted mountains, adventure, and a fresh start. But my ex and the families on both sides were in Maine.  I couldn’t be that selfish, could I?  

“After some agonizing, I asked for dream guidance.  I wrote down, Should I or should I not move to Colorado?  
“I dreamed I was with an older woman, someone I know only from dreams. We were leading two pregnant mares across the country.  The journey was long and difficult over the seemingly endless plains, and I worried that the horses would not survive the trip.  Finally, we came to the borders of a spacious and lovely farm, and led the horses through the opening or archway in a fenceline.  We walked up the driveway towards the buildings.  

“Right away, the horse I had been leading went into labor.  I didn’t know what to do.  I had never delivered a newborn horse.  The feet were coming out first, and I thought, ‘Oh no!  A breach birth!  Is that how it’s supposed to come out?’  I guided the legs out and helped the mother as best I could.  Eventually the whole body slid out into my arms.  It was warm and sticky, and didn’t seem to be breathing.  I tried to clear its airway.  

“At last, the colt took in a long, deep breath, but it was more than that… it was like I had taken my first breath of life… that the whole world had inhaled.  I felt exhilerated and yet peaceful, my whole body charged.  Then I remember saying to the mother horse, ‘Don’t get too attached to it.  The owner may not let us keep it.’  

“The older woman who had journeyed with us guided me to a horse trailer that was lavishly furnished, presumably for the new colt.  She replied, ‘ don’t think we have to worry about the owner.  He’s invested a lot in this one.’  I felt relieved, and I became aware that we had one more horse with us that could give birth any time.
“When I awoke in the morning, the answer to my question was entirely clear to me. The move to Colorado would be a challenging and painful crossing but it would result in the renewal/rebirth of my life.  The newborn colt came to have multiple possible interpretations for me… my own self, my books to come, perhaps my own children who would also be along for the ride… 

“Moving to Colorado as a single mom was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever made and it was just as hard and just as rewarding as the dream previewed.  I even named the protagonist of my first book “Mare” in honor of the dream and because it seemed to me that Mary’s virgin birth, as Joseph Campbell suggested, was on one level the woman giving birth to herself or a new part of herself.”

Something for all of us to learn from this wonderful experience: when we are faced with a life challenge, let’s remember to ask for help from our dreams. In dreaming, we have access to a mind that is wiser and deeper than the everyday conscious ego. If Michele’s dream were mine, I might think that the older woman who is my companion in the journey across the continent is an embodiment of my older and wiser self, and would draw continuing courage and confidence from the idea that she is with me in my ongoing life odyssey, especially in dreams.

Michele Lewis’ visionary narrative Reaching Out from the Inside is available from bookstores and online booksellers.
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