Another dream of lions and tigers and fear, oh my!

I recently had a lovely and very surreal encounter with a lioness at the Seneca Park Zoo.

Some of you may remember the dream I had last week about lions and a tiger; I blogged about it because I felt like it was possibly a message from the muses about a creative project that I might be embarking on.

Last night, in another dream, the beasts returned.

The tiger once again made a pass through a room, this time in an old mansion where a convention was taking place. This time, he made prolonged eye contact with me, and trod over my foot with his giant paw, and hip checked me with his massive body as he passed by.

Then the lions – oh lordy, the lions! They were roaming about the building, and everyone was panicked when they knew they were near, because they were threatening. But as soon as they passed, everyone went back to business as usual, until the next sighting.

But I was on alert. I could see them around corners. I could smell them as they prowled on the floors above and below. I was both looking for them and avoiding them at the same time.

I felt the danger. At one point, as the lioness entered a room where I had sought refuge – everyone else was eating canapes and drinking cocktails – I pulled a small child behind me and hid him in the shadows while we stood completely still in the hopes of not being seen. The lioness passed by without a glance in our direction.

As the lions continued to wreak havoc throughout the house in increasingly volatile ways (there was blood at one point, but not death), I opened a door to find the lion pacing in a room; he wasn’t restless, he was searching. He didn’t seem to see me so I tried to retreat quietly only to find that the door, which had been strong and solid, was now one of those flimsy accordion closet doors, and it only closed the right half of the doorway, leaving the left half completely open. The lion turned towards me, and I hastily shoved some cardboard over the opening and looked for a hiding place in the room.

There was a futon or couch the had been folded up, and I was able to wedge myself in the crease between where the seat cushions pressed against the couch back. Nestled among the throw pillows, I did my best to not make a sound.

And then I heard it. The raspy breath as the lion pushed past the makeshift door. I smelled the beast as he entered the room. The air around me grew heavy as he stood next to the my hiding place. My heart pounded with fear.

I turned my head to see his face just inches from mine. Then he roared, and I woke up.

* * * * * *

To be honest, I’m not sure anymore what this means, especially since last week, while I was at the zoo waiting for an event to begin, I sat down under the cover at the lion viewing station to get out of the rain and one of the lionesses came padding over to me with determination. Like a cat, she nudged her head at my hand pressed against the window, and stood on her hind legs to paw in play, and when I sat down and leaned back on the window she sat down next to me for some time, letting me take selfies like we were pals. It was a surreal experience.

Yes, I believe we hear messages in our dreams. Yes, I believe we are spiritually connected to all living things. Yes, I believe that the universe expands in all directions into infinity, and we are part of that, and we belong there, and sometimes we need to be reminded of that.

But the specifics of this dream? Is it a message from beyond or just the aftermath of a late dinner and last week’s visit to the zoo? I prefer to think it’s the former, as I attempt to remain a willing portal for creativity, however dangerous it might be.

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