“When the snow falls and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”–George R. R. Martin
Full moons have always held significance to me, throughout my lifetime. From the awestruck gazes of childhood to the more spiritual tones of my adulthood, I have always made sure to take a few minutes each full moon to acknowledge the beauty of it. There is something pure and good to be seen in that alabaster light. Despite the consensus that the full moon brings out the wild and crazy in people, it has always been a calming, grounding force for me. Then again, I might just be crazy.
Meditation has become a ritual for me at each new and full moon cycle, and this one was no different. Truth be told, I meditate nearly every night before sleep, but without much intent. I allow thoughts to flit here and there through my mind until I nod off to sleep. With these moon meditations, however, I try to put some purpose or intent into it. Usually some sort of letting go, or goal. And since I haven’t written about a dream in some time, I thought I would share one from this most recent full moon.
I must have nodded off despite my plans, because one moment I was surrounded by candles in my bedroom, Conrad purring steadily at my side, and then the next, I was back in a very familiar birch tree forest.
It was dusk, the sun setting in shades of ruby through the white trunks of the trees far ahead. The air was brisk, and it felt much more like Fall than the steamy North Carolina August we’re currently experiencing. Goosebumps erupted across my arms, hairs standing on end from the chill. Even my breath was slightly visible in the cool of the air, and I could taste the end of Summer on my tongue.
I listened for the call of wolves, but was met with merely the regular silence of the wild. Cricket song trilling here and there, mixing with the rustling of the breeze through the trees and the soft shuffle of my feet on the leaf-litter of the forest floor.
I smelled him first, before I saw him. But I knew him all the same. The heady scent was unmistakable, and something that I have smelled, waking and sleeping, for years now. He was on the wind and in my lungs, and then, just as suddenly, he was standing in front of me, all silver and white and blue-eyed in the dying light.
“I really thought the last time was, well, the last time.” I smiled at him, but I know the crack in my voice betrayed the emotions swirling underneath.
The Wolf stared, his pants making little puffs on the air, hazy ghosts offered up to the night. He knew, of course, how I felt, and I knew that, too. And without speaking, or moving, he beckoned me to him.
I walked up and put my hand on his back, felt the thick fur under my fingers. I let them linger for a moment before trailing my fingertips up to his head, smoothing the fur down beneath my palm, and resisting the urge to scratch him like a dog. He didn’t move an inch. This Wolf may as well have been made of stone.
“So why now? I haven’t seen you in months, almost a year. Why now?”
His eyes cut up to mine and he trotted away through the forest, toward the rapidly fading slivers of sunlight. Follow.
I obeyed, jogging lightly behind him to catch up. We were side by side at one point before he took off into an all out, full tilt run.
“Wait!” I screamed behind him, trying to keep pace and failing miserably. I tripped over gnarled roots and ran into smaller tree trunks, birch twigs snagging my clothes and hair as he kept on and on, and I lagged further and farther behind. I suddenly felt as if both my legs were twenty times their actual weight, but still, I persisted.
As suddenly as his run began, I saw the Wolf come to a halt abruptly up ahead. Disheveled and barely able to catch my breath, I caught up to him and doubled over, hands on knees, gasping for air. I was about to say something snarky to him, but a sudden bright light caught my attention.
The Wolf stared up into the night as the moon came down from the sky, gliding through the tree tops and down to us. Looking around us, I realized we were in a clearing of sorts, and this moon was smaller than the real thing, but big enough to tower over us.
I looked to him, and he looked to me. Go.
I stepped up toward the moon and reached my hand out. The light that radiated off of it in shimmering rays danced across my fingers and actually felt substantial, as if it were more than just light. It was a temperature, and a feeling. The coolness of a stone beside a stream.
I looked back to the Wolf, but he was gone.
Before I could worry, a familiar voice spoke to me.
“What are you?” It asked.
“Um… I am… me?” I replied, dumbfounded.
“Why do you still carry so much fear in your heart?”
“Ha, how much time do you have?” If a disembodied voice could glare, it was definitely doing so at that remark.
“Are you this situation?”
“Well, no…” I said, trying to be serious this time in my reply.
“Or that situation?”
“Or any of these situations you find yourself held within?”
“No. I wouldn’t say-“
“Are you these emotions?”
“No. But I don’t underst-“
“Are you this body?”
“I mean, temporarily? I guess? The scars add a certain flair to it, right?” This answer was met with reproachful silence. You know better. I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair. “No, I am not.”
“Then what are you?”
“I am, this.” I said, letting the light dance across my fingers again, then cupping it like water in my hands. “I am like moonlight. Or at least, that’s what I want to be. No more darkness.”
The moon pulsed brighter and from behind me, I heard the Wolf howl.
I’d like to say that something really deep and meaningful happened after that which clarified all that was said and meant, but in another flash of light, the moon grew larger and swallowed me just as my alarm went off, pulling me out of the dream and back into my room, candles long since burned down.
So I suppose that’s what happens when you fall asleep during a full moon meditation. Hope that was at least someone enjoyable to read. Next time, I’ll finally be sharing stories from all of my wanderings this summer.
But until then, sweet dreams.