In the forest of my dream grows a little evergreen, whose tiny spikes of needle hair reach out to grasp the new spring air. My dream takes shapes that grow and shift and all at once my form appears as if by magic old in years, trodding on the leaf strewn path, my arms outreaching toward the light that showers down upon us all, creatures living by our wits.
In the forest of my dream, fearsome demons lurk and wait, tall as oaks and fast as snakes, they hiss and spit and bare their fangs. I am anxious I admit, afraid of what they’ll do to me, afraid of what they’ll say of me, afraid of being overwhelmed, I scream to no one in my dream. When I wake in my own bed, damp and nervous, out of breath, I find it’s true, the scream I hear, it is my voice that fills the room. Where is the forest of my dream? Not here at least, not in this space.
In the forest of my dream, as real as any wooded glade, palpable and full of fright, at times a truly blessed realm of refuge taken from the storm, I walk through life so delicate, unfolding in the dappled light, with ferns and Mayapple and over the hill, Dutchman’s britches I see them still, in the forest of my dream, where time stands still and rushes round, making sleep a busy zone, where rest eludes me for one night, while dreaming takes me far afield.
In the forest of my dream, when I again return to sleep, a cat appears in silent stalk. A tiny baby bird it seems, has fallen from a nest on high, and helpless on a little knoll, wobbles and chirps for me to hear. I want to lift it from this floor but when I try my feet are stuck like two great boulders on a cliff and while I pull and twist about, the cat slinks forward toward her prey. And then from up above the trees a bird appears, with wings unfurled, and razor beak about to strike, talons open for a fight, in the forest of my dream, where creatures never play for real but where they tell me what I feel.
In the forest of my dream, the bird is gone and so the cat, curls up against my leg and sleeps, purring like a rumbling truck, as if she never left my side, nor looked upon a baby chick as if it were a bowl of cream, in the forest of my dream.
When morning comes and I arise, my cat is really by my side, and out the window I can see, a forest where the rain has come, and sprinkled dewdrops one by one, so all that slumbered these past months, can now begin to bloom anew. And what dreams do they have this spring? I wonder if as they grow old, eternity will treat them well, if in the forest of my dream, as I begin to say goodbye to all the creatures of the earth, as seasons pass and come again, the forest dream will live again, or will there come a day too soon, when all the forests big and small shall melt away and finally fall.
L B Gschwandtner is Editor-in-Chief of a business magazine.
Her writing has been recognized with awards in the 2004 and 2006 Writer’s Digest – short story mainstream literary category and the 2007 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. Her website, www.TheNovelette.com, showcases he own work as well as providing short story contests for anyone interested in entering. L B is currently working on a novel.