Dreams of Sandhill Cranes

Dreams of Sandhill Cranes

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Dreams of Sandhill Cranes

I walked into a surreal wildwood 
thick and lush, full of strange trees 
and waist high grasses swaying

I passed through the dusk light of that place,
and came upon a clearing where I paused

The sky turned a blueish black, full of luminous stars,
and from beyond a grove of trees, they appeared

Three Sandhill Cranes, each standing nine feet tall,
their feathers a dusty silver, like moonlight 
the tops of their heads red like a Nebraska sunset

They walked in a straight line past me,
ominous yet comforting,
peaceful yet intimidating

I waited for a message from them

but no message came

Three days later, 
On my way across the country 
I drove through a place
called, Sandhill Nebraska
Assuming a prophecy would be spoken here
the fields were empty

and no prophecy came

Then, three days later,
driving by a field somewhere in Southern Canada,
I saw three Sandhill Cranes
Standing close, they did not look at me
and further back in the corner of the field, 
stood another hundred

I had never seen them in real life
They are graceful in flight, 
and prehistoric in their throaty calls
nearly metallic in sound,
like screen doors, 
swung open by wind

I stood still on the edge of the road
facing them with fixed attention
my eyes focused on their subtle movement
waiting, watching, listening
I was thousands of miles from home,
having travelled far,
with great distances ahead of me 

As I watched carefully, 
a thought rose within me. 
Now, I will have understanding

but no understanding came

So I drove onward, to further fields
wondering if I had missed something.
Had I thought too much
or not enough
had I been too loud, too quiet
had I hoped too much for an obvious answer
had I not looked close enough,
or had I looked too directly at the thing -
like trying to see an early rising star that 
can only be seen from the corner of your eye

Perhaps I cursed myself by seeking a message,
a prophecy, an understanding
Instead of simply finding whatever might
pass through my open awareness

Searching gets in the way seeing

So, I left once again, 
empty handed as a September field 
the river-like road ahead of me,
the sage-like cranes behind me

On that day I drove for 18 hours
and eventually slept along the edge 
of another empty field,
pitching the tent at 4am 
in a daze, in the dark

I fell asleep that night with the spinning visions 
of water rushing over cliffs 
of empty streets and empty fields
of endless yellow road lines
of facing fears 
of new life chapters
of swimming in every one of the Great Lakes

and of Sandhill Cranes 

Nine feet tall
the color of moonlight
saying nothing
conjuring me into patience
as they quietly keep the secret 
of everything I long to know


Have you had a dream that connected to an experience in real life? I love this type of thing, and really trying to interpret meaning and conjuring stories of mystery with dreams and life. Please share your dreams and stories in the comment section, or send them to me in a email (bonus points for artwork illustrating the dream) - - - wes@livethecuriouslife.com

You can also see photos and read a travel essay from that day of 18 hours of driving when I saw the cranes on this post.

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