These things don’t happen in the dead of winter as the earth slumbers a deep and soundless sleep, heavy under the blankets of snow and rocked by northern winds. These things don’t happen in the spring of the year when life is like the tenderest of buds bursting with the green freshness of potential nor in the pregnant summer when the earth is in its full bloom. The twilight moment between the cycles when the earth lays down to rest away another year, in between waking and sleep, finds this sphere open to influences beyond the ken of this world.
The black cat arrived on our doorstep a little over 2 weeks ago on a dark moonless night. We had just lost our family pet, a long hair Maine coon cat, less than a month before. Her loss didn’t come as a complete surprise. She was a city cat, it was her first autumn outdoors and the corn was high in the fields around our lonely house. A cat, no matter how domesticated we might think, is still a cat. They will roam and they will hunt and they will walk in the wild places because they must be true to their nature. Most of the time they come home but sometimes they just get lost.
The new arrival was a beautiful cat, unusually large with short sleek black fur the colour of a raven’s wing and eyes a deep emerald green marked by amber flecks of gold. Even for a cat he was strangely confident and self-possessed. Our dog, normally curious about all things moving, took to staying in the kitchen immediately after the cat’s arrival but this was quickly associated with her young age and her leanings toward the dramatic. The dog was told to get over it; the cat was christened with the name of Michael and was adopted into the family.
My husband is a shift worker on the 11pm to 7am shift. We lead separate lives of a sort. He likes to keep the same sleep schedule on the weekend and as a result I sleep alone every night, that is, until Michael came. Instead of wandering at night as most cats do, Michael quickly took proprietorship of the empty side of the bed. His heavy purring was much more melodious than my husband’s snoring and it was nice to have a warm body beside me as the nights began to turn cold.
I’ve never had such vivid dreams. My sleeping eyes find me under a night sky silvered by the gothic moon. The light is the blue light of the full moon. The yard is caressed by the waves of a cerulean ocean dripping with luminescent pearls. Fingers of breeze tug at my dress, exploring the fall of hair and the naked skin of my shoulders and neck. The shadows are as dark as a raven’s wing, soft as silk, sensuous as sable and they sing. It is October and my bare feet should be cold but they aren’t. The light of the moon embraces me with a heat I’ve never known. The voices swell and the night fills me till I wake at dawn.
Each night for the past two weeks I’ve dreamt this dream, each night since Michael came. With each sleeping moment the song becomes clearer, the silver light becomes brighter. Each morning I wake to find Michael laying beside me, warm and dark, his emerald eyes sharp and intent. Tonight is Halloween. On such a night, it is said, the doors between the worlds open. Perhaps, if one was called and if one dared they might pass through. Tonight will also be graced by the fullest of moons, the gothic moon. It is a moon that will be so full and so bright it will rival the sun in power and beauty. Like a lantern this moon might light the way and show paths never seen on any other night. I know it is the moon of my dreams.
It is just midnight and Michael is calling me. For the first time since he’s come to stay with me he’s ready to roam the night. I will go with him out under the moon. I can hear the voices clearly now. They are calling me. Under my waking eyes the yard and the fields are changed, fey and transparent, my dreams come to life. Out in the moonlight Michael looks the most different but I already knew he would. Standing on the back step I’m ready to walk a new path. I won’t look back as I take Michael’s hand to walk under the moon-blessed sky and let the night fill me up as we step into the fields. Sometimes we just get lost and sometimes we find our way home again.