In the dream my husband and I have just stepped into the airport terminal to check in. A stranger who has crossed the threshold just ahead of us has dropped something—a coin, a piece of paper—some little thing. I bend down to retrieve it, call to the person, and return the item.
As I turn my head, I make eye contact with a ticket agent several people-filled yards away behind the ticket counter. Her abundant dark hair is loosely swept up; her tailored uniform is very dark blue, almost black. She gives a minute nod and presses her lips into a slight smile. “Well done, you,” she seems to be saying.
The lobby is suddenly cleared of congestion. I notice my husband is far ahead of me and hurry to catch up. I make my way easily through the TSA holding area, but he gets hung up in a slow line and we’re once again temporarily separated.
After a good bit, he pops up in a morass of folks seething toward various gates; I see him easily because, well, we’ve been together since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and because he’s dressed in garishly bright summer holiday colors. “We have 20 minutes to make the gate,” he says.
I wake up.
Some folks regularly experience vivid dreams, sometimes every night of the week. I’m not one of them. Literally the last thing I say before dropping off each night is “may I be Your hands on Earth, and may I see what I need to see.” I keep hoping to dream my sister or my maternal grandmother into being but that has yet to happen. And since I’ve started praying this little incantation my sleep has become essentially dreamless—yes, I’m dreaming, but I don’t recall the images.
What’s It All About, Hekkie?*
Some of you may be aware that my household has been undergoing a series of transitions over the past several months. Currently we’re in a holding pattern, waiting for circumstances beyond our control to snap into place. Think gears and pinions and spindles of a clock, some whirring, some grinding, all working together—eventually the hands point to the hour, a pin releases, and a small hammer strikes a chime.
There are a lot of moving pieces—Force Majeure things—that are still in process for us. It’s an uncomfortable time of waiting with nothing we can do to hurry through it. We know (well, we’re pretty sure anyway) that we’re moving but we don’t yet know exactly when or exactly where, and this lack of knowing has a ripple effect across our entire system. It’s hard to feel confident planning anything beyond daily events when such a big chunk of what the future is going to look like is still shrouded in mist.
Hekate is the Guardian of the Crossroads, and while they may not look like classical Greek crossroads (or be three-way intersections) airports are crossroads. My dream starts off with me taking a pause from my own journey to do a small mitzvah for a stranger on their own journey.
I use the word “mitzvah” purposefully, because this was more than a simple favor. Mitzvah carries with it a connotation of performing the good deed as part of my religious duty. As a follower of Hekate, I do see helping others as part of my religious journey; it’s how I live out my prayer to be Her hands on Earth.
The agent behind the ticket counter who sees me and sends her silent approval? That’s Hekate. Again, maybe She doesn’t look like a classical Greek goddess but that doesn’t make it any the less Her. And, I have to look to see Her. She’s not right in front of me and She’s not what I expect to see. It’s a metaphor for keeping my eyes open, for keeping a perceptive perspective.
My husband ahead of me part of the way; me ahead of him part of the way, both of us tumbling through dream-TSA like salmon wriggling through a fish ladder? That’s these last six months. Sometimes our head- and heart-spaces are in different places, but however we get tripped up through the process one of us will wait for the other once we’re on the other side.
And “twenty minutes to make the gate?” Twenty days from today, a great big gear is going to snap into place. This isn’t conjecture; it’s the Force Majeure piece that we know will be revealed because that’s how the process we’re in functions. Lots of folks in my husband’s line of work are eagerly waiting for That Day. Once we get there, almost everything else will start to fall into place.
Until then, we keep taking care of ourselves and each other. We make little plans, putting into place small certainties in the face of so much uncertainty. We wait. We do our best to embody the precepts of our faiths—his as a Buddhist, mine as a Witch—in our daily lives. We trust. And we hold to our promise to nurture these seeds of new beginnings no matter what kind of plants they may turn out to be.
* Those of us of a Certain Age might remember Burt Bacharach’s song Alfie, sung by the incomparable Dionne Warwick.