The Thing Under the Bed

The night before last, my four-year-old daughter was complaining about nightmares. Specifically she had a dream where, as she put it, she “saw her spirit and it was making scary faces” at her. In the dream she tried to hide with her mother, but every time she looked back there was her spirit making that scary face again.

Now, I consider dreams to be important for several reasons, as will be apparent from earlier posts, and with this one I figured that she was simply coming into a first awareness of her spirit. That can be scary since our spirits are eternal and very powerful. I just figured that Saoirse’s dream was her first encounter with her eternal and powerful self — who wouldn’t be scared?

I have also thought on occasion that something in that room where we put the kids’ beds is not conducive to sleep. It is rare that the kids sleep through the night there. We usually wind up with a big pile of children in our bed by morning, which I don’t mind since the time will come when the kids will want a great deal more of independence. Last night, though, I think I had some confirmation that something else is going on in that room.

We are trying to wean our youngest, so I usually take him into the guest bed when he wakes up in order to keep him away from temptation. Last night, he fell fast asleep there, and our two others both woke up and went into bed with D. In his flopping, our youngest sprawled so thoroughly across the guest-bed that there was simply no room for me. There was little problem in my mind since this all left the kids’ room empty.

Our two elders are both afraid of the dark (a sign of great intelligence in my opinion) so we have a fairly bright night-light that is on most of the time, but since they were both across the house I figured that I would turn it off. With the blinds to the room drawn, then, the darkness was almost complete so I pulled them open a bit to let some of the light from the street in and fell almost immediately into a deep sleep. At one point I remember waking up to an almost oppressive silence, feeling something in the room — standing in fact just off-centre in the middle of it — but not really knowing what else to do about it, I went back to sleep.

I was later awakened by the sound of crying across the house — hardly a strange occurrence. Toirdheallbhach often cries when looking for Mama in order to get his milk, but suddenly I heard right at the foot of the bed a strong exhalation as of someone forcibly sighing, and the crying abruptly ended. This roused me sufficiently to investigate, but when I walked through the house all was silent and still; Toirdheallbhach was still sound asleep where I had left him. As you might imagine, this left me in a slightly excited state, but I figured there was little more that I could achieve by wandering aimlessly. I therefore returned to the front bed-room and went back to sleep.

The dreams that met me were highly intense and consisted of several episodes in which personal drama was high. The landscapes were  dramatic, involving an ‘Old West’ style town and a massive dam, and the people were vividly believable, but the most remarkable thing was an episode in which some small creature was playing a great deal of mischief. I was trying to catch him, but he was too fast and clever, shifting form whenever I caught him so that I was left holding the remnant of a previous form. FInally I managed to get ahold of the thing itself and it transformed into a thick, dark smoke with glowing eyes suspended in it. It was not exactly malefic, but it laughed with a subversive, impish glee.

There is no doubt in my mind that whatever was in that room with me last night made some sort of impact on my dream and possibly made a cameo there. What I will do next is uncertain, but I think I just might start leaving out some offerings.

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