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A dream - or was it?

By TANIKA SMITH WHEATLEYPublished 8 months ago 16 min read
Last night's dream 6/9/17 - or was it just a dream?

I have heard others speak of ‘their purpose in life’ – up until this dream, I had never known mine…


A chill went down my spine. I opened my eyes and peered in the darkness. He was there. Still the same, he had not aged, not too tall, but muscular. Still medium sized, but powerful looking. Still strikingly handsome, but as always, unsmiling - his usual unhappy demeanor - almost scowling. Always making me wonder what I have done, or am not doing more likely, to displease him so.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I realized, my bedroom wasn’t too dark at all - being a ‘full moon’ night, of course, it wouldn’t be - I never draw the blinds - I like being able to see the night, and my garden outside. This side of the light-colored rendered garden wall on the perimeter of the courtyard always glowed light green whenever Kahu visited, and this night, was no exception. I ceased wondering about that eerie anomaly years ago. I accepted it was a phenomenon that happened in the dark, in the light of the moon, whenever Kahu appeared. The grey rockery in the yard also glowed green, so did the cream-coloured top of the spa, and the pinkish brownie-grey paving. Everything was bathed in that now very familiar green glow. My husband Paul once said it might be an alien landing area. I’d laughed, but he might be right, for all I knew. Others relate the colour green with extra-terrestrial phenomena. I have convinced myself that I do believe that some kind of invisible cylinder transporter elevators exist; but I suspect they’re closer to our own everyday life and death mortal/immortal existence, rather than some kind of extra-terrestrial paradox. Or just a theory. But I’m only surmising. I could be wrong. It could be both. I wish I knew everything, but I don’t…

Except for him. Who stood on the other side of the open bifold window/door at this very moment…

I love the thought of living/sleeping outdoors, and only closed the bifold during the coldest of the winter months. We only used this room in the summertime. In the wintertime, we use the master bedroom at the other end of the house. But I digress. Back to what was happening right now...

In contrast to the eerie greenish glow, he did not appear to be glowing green. He was wearing a hooded cape. Not his normal feathered cloak, this one was black with red lining. Something a magician might wear. It did not glow green either. And although he had the hood over his head, he did not attempt to keep the coat close to his body, so it hung loosely by his sides, and seemed to float around him as if there was a gentle breeze outside, curiously coming up from the ground, although I knew it was a very still night, otherwise. Not even the slightest breeze. The only other pieces of clothing were his Pareu (wrap-around loin cloth) and Piu Piu (reed fringed belt with beaten and burned patterns). The numerous tribal warrior body tattoos gave the impression that he was dressed in a whirl patterned tight fitting gym bodysuit. The only other thing he wore was a beautiful, intricately carved whalebone necklace. This gleamed white, in the light of the bright moon above.

‘So’ I thought to myself looking at the cape, ‘this must be his ‘grim reaper’ attire’. But out loud, I said as I crawled out of bed, “OK, I’m ready…”

No answer, or reaction, came from him as he stood just outside of the window/door. But as I approached, he seemed to ‘float’ backwards away from me, as if purposely keeping a certain distance - he’d never done that before. That’s when I realized that under him, in my garden outside my window/door space, there was a gaping hole in the ground, and he wasn’t standing on anything, no ground, but floated above it. I gasped, as I looked down the hole. It was dark. It was deep. I had a feeling it went on infinitely, no matter how absurd the thought. And briefly, I wondered if the Christian idea of hell below the ground was true, and was that my final destiny? Bringing my eyes back to him, I noticed that he was enclosed in a clear funnel like cylinder around him (the likes of which I briefly mentioned in an earlier paragraph) which protruded from the bottomless pit, and went on up into the night sky, for as far as I could see. I was familiar with these cylinders that seemingly reached up into space - I have travelled in one to another realm, or perhaps I have previous experience with these in another life, time, dream, and/or place (but that’s another story), but I never realized they go down through the Earth as well and I briefly wondered about these ‘holes’ as I approached Kahu - that some cultures are aware of – that some people are aware of – and have written about - similar to the ‘Alice Down the Rabbit Hole’ story, I also wondered about its creator, Lewis Carol, could he be one of the ‘enlightened’ and similarly, I imagine that there really just might be underground ‘wells’ to other dimensions.

He cleared his throat as he always did before speaking. “No, to your first thought, I am not in ‘Grim Reaper’ attire. And no, to your second thought, I have not come for you. And no, to your third thought, there is no such thing as a ‘flaming underground hell’. And yes, Lewis Carol is definitely enlightened. Obviously, he couldn’t write about the truth in the form of a thesis, he knew few would believe him; may even persecute him, as they did to so many likewise people in his era; so he wrote symbolically - to suit the modern ‘closed’ human mind - but he knew the enlightened would recognize the truth behind the literature; albeit, understood what he was actually writing about - not a girl, or a rabbit per say - but how in certain suitable conditions, it was possible for a girl, or boy, someone, anyone, who might unintentionally fall into another synchronic place that may be similar, but different to - “ he paused, “yours, as you know it…”

I noticed he didn’t say ‘ours’. “I believe it was yours too, once…”

He sighed, as if remembering. “Yes…”

“So why have you come tonight? You haven’t visited me for ages. I am the one who has been seeking you out, in your little fern Whare (shelter), in your…blue ferny world, instead…to let you know that I am ready to go…”

He lowered his head, until all I could see of his face was a bit of moon shine on the end of his nose. Then he shook his cape from his shoulders. Still, it floated around him. His brown skin gleamed a golden sheen in the light of the moon. Although the cylinder gleamed green, he did not. Then he looked at me again. “You have to accept that my blue world, as you call it, might be your own idea of…where or how I might exist now…”

I smiled. Finally, he was talking to me, and finally, he might make me understand, all the mysteries - answer my numerous questions.

But he stopped. He’d read my mind again. He cleared his throat. “And, I came to tell you not to give up…”

I stepped closer, intending to enter the cylinder. Previously, that’s all I had to do. Step in. This time however, I banged into what appeared to be an invisible glass or clear plastic barrier. For a moment, I thought the bifold window/door was closed. A quick look at it revealed it was still wide open. Perplexed, I looked at the cylinder. The whole thing moved back away from me. It made a soft whirring sound as it moved. I wasn’t expecting to hear that. I had no idea that they actually made a noise, no matter how inaudible, subtle. I suspected though that they weren’t everywhere, that they only had certain areas, and I feel elated that one of those places was in my own back yard. I knew they were invisible, and could not be touched, felt, by mortal hands, and could not be moved, no matter what mortals built in, over, and around them. Until now. When Kahu did not want me to get too close. So, I had learned something else about them. Celestial cylinders that only made themselves available for transportable use to only the enlightened, and probably even those who do not realize they are enlightened, and only when, available to use, if there was a reason, or purpose. I looked at the bottom. Yes, my garden paving was there where only a moment earlier there was a gaping hole in the ground. And, they came and went. Or so it appeared, to my simple mind. I could not imagine how something could be there, exist, but only for use on certain occasions; like now, Kahu managed to use it for transportation from the hereafter to the planet Earth, to my garden. Now, the hole was seemingly going through my spa. I looked above. The cylinder still rose into the dark night sky. If it wasn’t softly reflecting the luminous light of the moon, it would be impossible to detect in the dark heavens above.

I looked at him, perplexed. “But - I am ready. My parents have gone. My first daughter. Two sisters. Two brothers. Although I have had my share of pain, like everyone does, I have also had a life full of adventures, all over this world.” I sighed. “I am ready to go...”

“You tire,” he hadn’t cleared his throat first, this time, “sometimes a series of ill health and pain can do that to someone - thinking the future of the aged is bleak, full of aches and pains - you have convinced yourself you’d rather go while still in fairly good health…”


He cleared his throat. “You feel as though you have lived many lives in one, filled with so many ends and knew beginnings, from the very first time you almost died as a young girl…”

“The first time I saw you…watching, waiting…”

Again, he didn’t clear his throat, and I smiled to myself. There have been so many times that I had wanted to blurt out to him that that Māori protocol of clearing your throat before saying something was bloody annoying, as he continued. “But your grandmother took you to a Tohunga healer,” he paused, “and you survived…”

“And I have seen you several times since…”

“Yes…you have had many near-death experiences, but it is still not your time to leave yet…”

I had a feeling that it was him, that was not eager for me to leave yet…

Again, he didn’t clear his throat. I have to keep reminding myself that he probably knew my every thought. “Yes, you have had many ‘close calls’, and adventures - you have had many successes and failures - you think you have seen everything you want to see, done everything you want to do…”

I nodded. “I have…”

The cylinder started moving upwards. I tried getting into it again. “No! Wait…”

It was silent. Even the whirring sound had stopped. But it seemed to be whirling, and picking up speed - he remained motionless, in the middle of the phenomenon. I bought my hands back, momentarily stunned. I never knew the cylinders silently spun - the spinning is not noticeable, from the inside.

I sighed in frustration. “So that’s all you came here for, to tell me not to give up? As you’ve just admitted, I’ve done just about everything, well, everything I wanted to do, achieved all my goals, not many people get to do that…”

“Yes, you’ve done everything you wanted to do, but…there’s still something you have to complete yet…”

But I knew the answer even as I asked him, “What?”

“Write about us, your grandmother Kahia thinks the younger generations should know what we went through, and I agree…”

And with that, he reached for his cape, whirled it around himself so fast that I’m not sure if I actually saw that happen, or not, as he and the cylinder swirled up into the night sky. I walked out into my garden and immediately searched the sky, but there was no sign of the mysterious immortal/ancestral guardian specter that so many of our family have seen from time to time, most of us not knowing what he is exactly, or what he wants - he calls himself Kahu, so we assume he is our ancestor of the combined hot lakes tribes - one of the first to live in peace with some of the first European newcomers to our land, until others attacked his village. I have always thought of him as a Māori version of the Grim Reaper. He never spoke much. He hardly answered questions. But we know he watches over us, his descendants. And perhaps escorts us when it is our time to ‘cross over’. How and why some immortals end up with such occupations, is a mystery. Why can he never talk with me properly, answer my questions. He knows I have a curious mind. As far back as I can remember, I have wanted to know everything. When I started school, I found it a place of knowledge, and used to fake being healthy, so I wouldn’t miss any lessons - while all the other children used to fake being sick, to avoid theirs.

Just the full moon looked down on me now, standing beside the spa, surrounded by my beautiful plants. That’s when I noticed the dogs standing nearby, also looking upwards, searching the night sky. As on other occasions, they were my only witnesses - but they cannot tell anyone. They never bark when this sort of thing happens. As if they know more about this mortal/immortal universe of ours, than I do. They probably do. I told them to go back to their beds. They did.

I breathed deeply of the cool night air. Of the mint, thyme, rosemary, and sage growing nearby, along with other medicinal herbs in their clearly marked planter boxes. Clearly marked, as they could be as toxic as they were therapeutic. I smiled at the eerie but slowly fading green glow around me as I pondered on some of his words, few as they always were. Was it true his ‘blue’ world was my own creation? Kahu’s twilight zone, I called it. I only knew of the blue plants, mostly ferns lining a pathway to his little fern hut. With a fire that was not warm, burning outside the entrance. A place that did not feel warm, or cold. An eerie, unfeeling place that was not light, or dark – nor were there any shadows. His little fire surrounded with rocks that we seemingly sat on but did not feel. Did I indeed make up my own version of how and where he now resided? Is deep space so sparsely different to what we’re used to that we create our own comfortable Earth-like surrounds such as plants, shelters, and log fires in our minds on the ‘steppingstone plateaus’ of infinity? Or did I prefer to think of one of our affluent ancestral chiefs now living humbly? And is it all a figment of my imagination? Is he; also, not real? No, I reminded myself, I am not the only one who has had spectral encounters with Kahu. I also reminded myself that the dogs are also aware of him. So many mysteries. I hate mysteries. I prefer actual knowledge. But I have already resigned myself to the fact that I would never know everything. At least, not in this mortal form…

Then I returned to bed, wondering what else it is that I still have to do. Write? A story my grandmother told me about him, his wife Hinewai and brother Hauku? And their lands on either side of the great lake? Where the tribe on the west was virtually wiped out by the English and the undefeatable tribe on the East was finally offered a peace treaty? As mysterious as ever, he had come and gone, leaving me yet again, with another puzzle to work out. And as I lay on my soft satin pillow, I decided not to worry about it - that whatever it is, I will do, sooner or later.

All I knew for sure was that now, starting with the rise of a new sunny day, I will strengthen myself with my special herbs, and ‘hang around’ in this mortal realm, for a little bit longer. I will probably die soon after completing the story my grandmother Kahia told me about Hauku, Hinewai and Kahu, but I decided that I will take my time writing it…I was ready to accompany him, but now that I know I have one more thing to do before going to the next realm, I will take my time, and enjoy this life for as long as I am able…

I looked over at our little dogs in their beds in the adjoining room that I use as an office/studio. I never closed the door between the room that I used to paint and write in, and our bedroom. Leroy, our black Moodle, and Minka, our white Cavoodle, liked being able to see us. Of course they do, dogs are ‘pack’ animals. And I liked being able to see them peacefully sleeping, nearby. They were already snoring. If they had no concerns about what had just transpired, I decided, neither would I, and I put all thoughts of going or staying, and whatever else I had yet to complete, far from my mind. Then I looked over at Paul. He had snored during the whole thing. I loved looking at his brow with cleft, chiselled cheek bones and cleft in jaw, his dimples on either side of his full lips. Even at this age, still handsome – and I told myself that perhaps I didn’t want to leave Paul and our dogs after all - well, not quite yet…

I finally did get around to writing about Kahu, a Chief, his wife Hinewai, known as the Warrior Princess, and his brother Hauku, a lead warrior and Hinewai’s fighting trainer, and their heir, who would become the only undefeated Maori – if interested, read my book titled ‘On the Wings of Birds’ – there are eight chapters:

Chapter One: SUNSET

Chapter Two: BEFORE

Chapter Three: THE ONE

Chapter Four: THE ENEMY

Chapter Five: THE JOURNEY

Chapter Six: THE ESCAPE

Chapter Seven: SUNRISE

Chapter Eight: (second section of SUNRISE) titled AFTER complete with EPILOGUE of historical notes

And I finally feel as though I had a purpose, and I have completed it…


About the Creator


When I was a child, I would wake up in the night because of nightmares. As time went on, I realized that I was looking forward to my dreams. Now, I write them, among other stories as well.....

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