Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am

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A Galloping Flame

I am gifted with a dream of the one place where my Self is fully at home, on the Finca, the farm of my childhood in Colombia. I find myself walking in a verdant field on the mountainside, surrounded by lush forest, reveling in its vibrant energy, when I see a flash of movement among the trees. I don’t have time to think before I see a small, but magnificent horse in the shaggiest burnt-orange coat racing across the field in my direction.

I don’t recognize this creature that makes me think of prehistoric horses, or the  ones from the Tibetan mountains, because of its thick, long coat that waves in the wind like a flame streaking towards me.  I am thrilled by the sight of it, and tremulous.

I know horses. They are like people. Some of them are gentle and kind, warmhearted. And some are ornery, and mean. And I don’t know which of them this one is, I only know it is wild, of a wild species that has never been domesticated. Perhaps I should take cover.

But the flame gallops past me without even acknowledging my presence, and, before my unbelieving eyes, races to the other edge of the field and right up the trunk of a tree, onto a thick, sturdy branch, standing in brilliant splendor among the leaves.  My mind struggles to accommodate what it knows is impossible, but cannot deny is occurring.

When I awake enough to remember that I was dreaming, to feel the joy of having traveled to the place I always miss when I am away, I feel a new thrill. I have written before that horses in my dreams are portentous. When I dream of them, I am left with a solemn sense of awe and bottomless gratitude, a feeling of having been somehow bestowed.

Horses often symbolize my True Self in my dreams, my untamed nature. Only in this dream, that symbol is, in fact, wild and untamed, and doing the impossible!

I welcome this energy into my waking life, keeping my senses alert for signs of it, opportunities to experience it, as I move through my day.

Photo by Funky Tee on

Photo by Funky Tee on


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I lie in bed, sleepless, ill, waiting for daylight, or sleep, or for another fit of coughing. I cannot take in enough air to feel my center, to deepen and quiet my thoughts, to feel the stillness that clears my mind of petty thoughts and meanings.  I put my hands on my chest and call up Reiki, hoping for sleep, or rest, or comfort. I drift in the flow of it, warm.

There is a sudden fraction of a moment, a splinter of an instant in which I forget my body, my illness, my idea of myself.  In that sliver of a second, a sound comes to me, familiar, sweet —and not of this snowy place. I hear, briefly, the call of frogs in the darkness and I am instantaneously transported to the Finca of my childhood, to the unmistakable, lonely echo of night sounds lifting in the crisp air towards that endless black sky, punctured by starlight.

I can smell rich soil, the moisture it holds, and the scent of crushed grass on a breeze. Momentarily, I am quietude, stillness, I am unfathomable depth, timeless, endless, infinite—for one instant.

And then, as the awareness comes to me that I am here, in my bed, in this urban night, my heart creaks, cracks, opens with longing, with regret, with desire, to be there, again, to be that.

Photo Credit: Barun Patro

Photo Credit: Barun Patro


I Dream of Biking

I dream that I am riding my bicycle. I travel quickly down the steep mountain highway that leads, for a fistful of miles, from my childhood farm. I hear the wind whistle and feel joy, in spite of the fact that I am careening, slightly out of control.

I realize, vaguely, that I will need to turn at some point, before I reach the crossroads at the bottom of the precipitous incline. I feel, first, confident, and then, afraid.

Meanwhile, in the back of my mind, I remember the Olympic cyclists training, sweat pouring down their faces, their breath rasping in the rare air as they slowly pumped up this mountain, in the opposite direction. I hope that, on the return, I won’t have to push the bike uphill.

I awaken to the uneasy knowledge that, as I roll through life, I feel comfort, because I can see my hands on the handlebar. As if that had any bearing on my path at all.

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Staying Right Here

I have a dream. I am driving a car that moves very slowly, but I cannot control it. It slides, as if on ice. But it is in a park. I see children playing soccer and families grilling. I fear for them, fear that this car I am driving will slide into them, drive over them.

Fortuitously, I see a bridge, it goes over the park and the play. I am able to direct the car to the bridge successfully. I find it very steep.

When I am at the cusp, I look down. The ground is so far away that my vision reels and my stomach rises to my throat. I have to draw back, at the cusp of this flimsy bridge.

I cannot look down, it’s too far, too dangerous. If I do, I may fall over, or worse, drive the car over, and it will bounce on the children and their parents having fun in oblivion. So I don’t look, and I don’t drive over. I stay up here on the rickety bridge of my reality, breathing deeply and waiting.

I don’t know what I am waiting for. Strength? Clarity? A good idea of how I can get down from here without hurting anybody.

I just stay up here on this bridge.

And, for now, that is okay.