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Friday, October 30, 2009

The Mountain Lion in my Bedroom

This is a true story. Not even the names have been changed to protect the indolent.

I woke in my bed, early one morning, on a work day. Over my bedroom closet, I was stunned to see a magnificent, large and tawny mountain lion. There is only a wall above my closet, but the lion appeared to be lying down on a shelf. The lioness, which somehow I knew was female, stared intently at me, and snarling, as if imparting a message to me. That is, I could see she was growling, but could not hear her voice.

I knew this was just another case of my having opened my eyes and woken up before my brain had finished showing me a dream. No big whoop – happens to me all the time, just never saw anything as impressive on waking as that beautiful beast - she was brilliant and as solid looking as anything else in my bedroom. I figured when I had time that night I would look it up in my animal totem book what message mountain lions give to their minions. I got up and prepared myself to leave for work. It was raining.

At my office, the morning began normally enough. But later in the morning nonplussed coworkers began coming over to tell me that a former student assistant had out of the blue, showed up. His name was Robert. That morning he had ridden his bike, and arrived soaking wet. A year or so earlier, he used to work on our data base, and though generally a pleasant guy, in the manner of a true geek, he often showed no more tact or communication skills than a petualant 4 year old. My luck on this day, he had come into the office just to see me.

He grilled me about a project I’d been given the a year earlier. The project had been a challenge, for me, get a database to work in a way for which it hadn't been designed. Unfortunately, though I am rather a natural on computers, I’ve never had any formal training in computer languages. So after much trying, and asking my supervisors for help that I never received, I gave up. The project was not completed, and was ditched. I told Robert so.

As the old database was discussed, Robert's voice raised, and before long, he was yelling at me. He now worked for a computer company and had been given an assignment, similar to the one I had ditched, and which he too, could not complete. He had hoped I had completed the task so he could use my work as a basis for his. He ranted on, telling me how I ruined his project. I was stunned. I stood there, staring at him dumbfounded, until a supervisor ordered him to leave. As the day progressed I felt worse and worse about the unfair chewing out I had received, and even residual guilt about the long ago abandoned project.

Skip to that night - I lay in my bed reading before lights out. I remembered that I wanted to look up the significance of my mountain lion ‘sighting’. I read in my Animal Totem book:

*Mountain Lion can be a very difficult power totem for you to have, because it places you in a position to be a target for the problems of others. You could be blamed for things going wrong, or for always taking charge when others cannot. You may become the perfect justification for the insecurities of others.

The totem book described precisely what had happened to me at the office. I grabbed my journal, and there was the unshakable truth, by my own hand; a drawing of the mountain lion I had quickly sketched that morning, because I hadn't had time to write out the dream before going to work. The lioness, in the early hours of the day, had assured me that no guilt lay with my own actions.

I swear on my beloved mother’s soul, that’s exactly what happened.

Was it a paranormal experience? As far as I’m concerned, it absolutely was. And yet, I recall that at the time I after I read the journal, my first thought was "That lion can't have had anything to do with warning me! " And I thought in an ultimate grasp at denial, "I didn't see the lion this morning...?" You know how sometimes the events of the morning feel like they happened a week earlier? That is how the timing of seeing the lioness felt to me.

So quickly, I checked my journal, and there in my own hand, was the quick sketch of the mountain lion I drew shortly after viewing her. You know, if the date on my journal had been one day earlier, I’d have dismissed the whole thing as a quirk, as a coincidence. I would have denied there was any link between the lion I saw, and Robert who showed up at the office to blame me for his problems. If there had been more than 24 hours between the lion/the guy, I'd have croaked rather than admit to myself I'd experience anything out of the ordinary. I live in denial of most things paranormal.

If you’re wondering what a totem is, it’s an animal species from which you can learn lessons from, or at least that’s my interpretation of a totem. I did not formerly count the mountain lion as one of my totems, but she seems to think she is and she came to tell me so. To this day a plate hangs over the bedroom closet. It was gifted to me by my friend friend Joann, to whom I told the story. The plate commemorates the lioness, who perched above my bed to warn me, and comfort me, on that day, November 30, 1993.

The Mountain Lion plate plate that hangs over my closet

*from Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson

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