The other night, I met a goat
black, smooth haired, domestic
and still young.
It was stumbling along the road
scraps of rope tied around its neck and legs
and trailing behind it as it walked.
It told me it had been bound
and had chewed its way free.
It had been bound and at first,
when it was younger,
it thought this was okay.
It thought it was being cared for
and cared about.
But over time,
it realized this wasn’t the case.
It was alone
and the ropes were becoming tighter
as it grew.
It tripped and I reached for it,
lifting its small dark body into my arms.
“I will carry you.
I hope I’m strong enough”.
They say that goats can eat anything.
This goat ate its loneliness and desperation
ate its restraints and limitations
ate its past, chewed its way to freedom.
Another one of my strange dreams, from Wednesday night 18 March 2020. Its not until some time later, when I’m trying to remember what happened and I start writing, that I begin to make sense of it all. There’s such a lot of anxiety at the moment, I thought it might be connected to that.
But there’s something else going on. A sense of release, of being in a position to take care of another.
And like a few other dreams I’ve had, I think I am both the “me” in the dream, and the goat.
the falling begins the withdrawal, the sheltering hold life close to your heart and release the past
Our Autumn usually begins in March, but we’ve had such a long, hot summer its hard to imagine the weather changing. But just this morning – it was cooler, I wore a light-weight jersey to work, I fiddled with the air-conditioning trying to change it from cooling to heat. I realised that I am noticing the change, ever so slight, that is starting to happen. And when I went outside to cross the road to the little sandwich shop opposite, the freshness in the air was a shock and a joy. The air felt fresh, clean, as if it was somehow more full of energy and oxygen than usual.
So – welcome Autumn. Come and bring your falling leaves, your cool temperatures, and I will begin the sheltering. This is the time when we move indoors, not to get out of the sun, but to conserve heat, to wear an extra jersey, to throw a rug across the bed. I should have realised the change was coming when the cat began to sleep on the bed again after weeks of night-time exploring – he had begun to notice the drop in temperature on his midnight rambles.
So – welcome Autumn. And as I start to move inside, I’ll notice the treasures I have around my house, and I will light a candle to the memories. But I will hold hands with the present, with the here and now, and what gives me purpose and pleasure.
So – welcome Autumn. And soon you will bring your sister Winter. And that’s when things get serious.