I dreamed that I was at my mother’s house and discovered something wondrous, something I could never have imagined.
There were other people living on the property other than us.
The first group lived in the wetlands at the bottom of the hill. They lived in homes made of sticks and mud. These homes were not some kind of story-book hut, all warm and cozy. They were wet, cold and the wind ripped through them at night. They looked like beaver dams. But the people were happy. There were about 7 or 9 of them–an older woman, maybe the grandmother, some middle-aged men and women and some children, as old as 12 and as young as 5 or 6. This was the family group. To look at they were dirty but I realized that this was actually their skin pigment, like camouflage. Their clothes were the color of dark wet mud, their hair full of rotting leaves and twigs. To them it was perfectly normal and I was the outsider, too clean and worried about getting my socks wet as I stumbled through the muck. How I discovered they were there, I do not remember.
Then there were the people that lived in the densest part of the forest along the ridge above my mother’s house. They lived there like foxes, or rabbits, in homes made of sticks, leaves and packed down earth. Dens. Once again, nothing cozy about these places. But the people were happy. They had the same kind of skin pigmentation coloring as the others. Their clothes were the color of reddish damp earth and rotting leaves, their hair full of pine needles and bark. This group was about the same size and make-up as the other group in the wetlands. They were a little more outgoing, however, and as I now know, they were the ones with whom I made first contact. It had been a cold, winter night. The wind was blowing and the temperature was subzero. I happened to be looking out a window, out into the field behind the house and I saw 5 or 6 people trudging through the dark. I followed them. They saw me. No one ran. They told me to go. I said I would but if there was anything they needed that they should only ask. Through the Earth People I met the Water People. My relationship with both has been one of respect and distance.
There was also a single person–the grandfather of the Earth People group. He lived in a large pool , half submerged, next to my mother’s barn. He had a small platform which held his campfire above the water and the chair he sat in was just high enough to keep his upper torso dry. Over the fire he brewed coffee and fried bacon. He was the shyest of them all. The Two Peoples cared for him and kept him safe. He was a therianthrope, a Shapeshifter. When he shifted they confined him to a type of barracks surrounded by electrified concertina wire. When he was in human form he sat quietly in his chair, in the pool, tending to his small fire.
I know enough of dream analysis to recognize that all of these people, these groups, are elements of myself. I am the Water People. I am the Earth People. I am the Shapeshifter.