I was on the verge of capturing a dream teetering between two states: sleep and consciousness. I could faintly hear a voice calling me in the distance. I pulled the comforter over my head retreating further inside letting the warmth envelop me, for the images were gone, but the memory of being soothed lingered. Once again, the burning question came to mind. Could separation by death really sever a lifetime connection? I had no answer. Then the voice called out once more.
“Honey, come here, you have to see this.” The voice belonged to my husband.
“Uh, uh,” I mumbled, diving deeper inside my cocoon.
“Really, you do need to see this,” my husband said again.
I wished to be left to the warmth and lingering tranquility. I voiced my objection again.
“I don’t want to, it’s cold out there.”
“Honey, you have got to see what is sitting on the window ledge.”
Jack’s a very tenacious man. I finally relented.
“Is the coffee made?”
“Yes, and I saved you a muffin.”
The coffee and muffin lured me from the bed, but I took my comforter with me. All wrapped up, I headed for the living room and my husband.
“What’s going on?”
“Look out the window,” he pointed, smiling.
I turned and was amazed to see an owl sleeping on the window ledge. It was white, except for a sprinkling of black on the owl’s beak and tips of its feathers.
“Has it been here long?”
“It was here when I woke up.”
“It’s beautiful.” I sat on the floor, in front of the window and watched it breathe. “Why do you think it is here?”
“I don’t know; we don’t have owls around here unless it’s a pet or it escaped. It may be stunned or just asleep.”
I thought about that, then another thought suddenly came to mind as I remembered what day it was.
It would have been Barbara’s birthday today. I thought.
My sister, Barbara, had died six months earlier after a fifteen-month fight with breast cancer. I think of her every day. More than once, I’ve found myself dialing her phone number to share some observation. If she were alive, I’d be talking to her right now. I missed her, and I would for a long time. I was still intrigued by the visitor. Then I remembered the dream.
“I dreamt about Barbara and her imaginary childhood companions. She had two mammoth elephants: Tundra and Mundra. She also had a white owl she called Snow. They were in a lush, green forest close to a river. It was so powerful, and they seemed so happy to be together; it felt soothing. It left me so calm upon waking that I tried to recapture the dream. It seemed so real, then you started calling me.”
“Maybe Barbara sent Snow to let you know she’s all right.”
At that very moment, Snow opened its eyes and looked right into mine. For a few moments, we stared at one another with only the glass between us. I reached out and placed my hand against the window almost touching Snow, but for the glass. Its gold eyes bore into my green eyes, and then it turned and flew away.
“What do you think, did Barbara send Snow?”
“Barbara was subtle,” I said smiling.
“Yeah, you would’ve sent Tundra or Mundra,” he laughed.
“I laughed, too, knowing my sister was somewhere laughing also, and that our connection, though subtle, would endure forever.
Copyright 2006 Joyce Tres All rights reserved.