This morning I looked out the window, rain running down its pane and I saw a small murmuration of starlings congregated in Chaka Khan’s hair, jumping from branch to branch and realized;
even they can play in the rains.
Sometimes things are easier seen than done.
He was a seagull named Benedict. He was the one who woke me up. He sat perched on the open window sill. His tone was casual as he asked “Sleep well?” he paused as I rubbed my eyes and slowly sat up in my bed. The air was icy and my feet felt frozen. I pulled open the duvet and saw snow on my feet. I blinked hard as my eyes tried to focus.
“You dream anything?” Benedict asked.
“I…um…just woke up from visiting a badger who lives in a tree trunk buried in snow…But I thought I…”
“Exited your dream?” casually interrupted the seagull. “You know, an exit is just an entrance to another place. Any threshold you cross is both an exit and an entrance, it’s all about perception. You didn’t exit that dream, my friend, you entered into another. Another realm you might say.” Benedict went on to scratch his back with his beak.
“What should I do then?” I asked.
“Well, since you have met the badger, there is someone else you must meet. Everyone calls him ‘The Watchmaker’, a fantastic, gem of a being. If the badger spoke to you, then you are ready to meet ‘The Watchmaker’. Follow me.”
Benedict jumped off the window sill and floated to the floor. He waddled out the bedroom door and down the passage, which seemed longer that it usually did. “Where are we going now?” I questioned still half asleep from my previous dream.
“We going to meet ‘The Watchmaker’, but we need transport.” He stopped at the bathroom door turned and faced the toilet. “There’s the transport.” he said staring at the porcelain throne.
“Uh, that’s my toilet.” I said in an obvious tone.
“Yes, well done. You will find everything you need behind the door. Make sure you put everything on and flush yourself down the tubes, mmkay? I won’t be far behind.” He gave me a smile that only a seagull could give. He must be enjoying this.
Behind the door I found flippers, snorkel, goggles, water-wings and a swimming cap with peacock feathers attached to it. Without question I put on the attire and looked at the seagull.
He gave out a shrill but hearty laugh that only a seagull with seagull humour could express.
“I feel stupid.” I said looking down at my ridiculous traveler’s uniform.
“Ah, but after some words with ‘The Watchmaker’ I can assure you, you will feel slightly less stupid.” He gave me an honest seagull smile and I couldn’t help but return it with my honest human smile. “OK.” I said hidden behind an uncertain, forced laugh.
I stepped awkwardly into the toilet bowl. I felt the water around my feet and gave a half grimace – half-smile to the seabird.
“Wait, I almost forgot” said Benedict. “Here, you will need this.” with his beak he pulled from out the shower, a kick board.
I held it in my hands and stared down at it in disbelief. Before I could say or question anything, Benedict was already next to the toilet, “OK let’s go!” And with that, I was flushed down the toilet like an expired gold-fish.
I stood up and wrapped the scarf snug around my neck. As I was putting on my jacket the badger entered the room and walked over to the fireplace.
“Matthew.” he said, as he got up on his hind legs and took a long draw on his hash pipe, “The idea is to change yourself for the betterment of others, not for the betterment of self.” He sat down on his rocking chair as he exhaled and smiled.
I gave the badger a nod as I opened the thick wooden door. The chill from the wind blew my face numb and snow fell to my feet. I walked bravely out of the badger’s house into the cold as I exited my dream.