There was more than one dream last night of note. I'm fighting for the memory of the one just before I woke up, but the one that came just as I was falling asleep is one that I am not likely to forget any time soon. Yes, it was one of those 'wake up with your heart pounding, was it really a dream' dreams
I was standing in a huge cave with a good friend - there was lots of light coming in from an entrance to our left and behind us, and from above us, where there was a natural skylight slightly obstructed by a huge rectangular piece of rock jutting across a shelf just below the opening. Weirdly, though neither one of us is an engineer or a geologist - both our fathers are engineers, but different types - we were knowledgeably discussing the cracks in the rock and the safety of the cave. I was pointing to the rocks in the wall and saying, "They're just fine - but if you look up (pointing to the rectangular rock) - THAT is a serious stress fracture, and we need to be worried about that." He nodded thoughtfully.
Suddenly, the earth beneath us shook, and I had a quick vision of houses folding as if they were origami, before looking up to see the rock break in two along the crack and fall - too quickly for me to get away, and I was buried underneath it.
Oddly, my friend DID make it out, though I have no idea how. Possibly because he was slightly to my left and a step behind me, or he'd already started to move. I somehow *knew* there was only time for one of us to make it out, so I wasn't bothered by the fact that he didn't grab me or try to save me too - I knew we were both where we were meant to be. It was absolutely fine. I was completely calm in the dark; I could hear him calling me, but I turned all my energy to finding my way out. Somehow, I managed to stand up underneath it, dropping the two halves of that huge rock from my shoulders like they were styrofoam.
"Irim! You ok?" I turned around to see his head poking through the cave entrance.
"Ja," I replied, assessing the situation and realising I couldn't exit that way.
"We going to have to anchor a rope, have you tie it round your waist and lower you to the floor of the cave and get you out that way."
"Fine," I said, managing to reach the rope he'd thrown my way, and tying it round my waist, feeling the tension as he adjusted it at the other end.
"First, we going to have to bring you up - can you reach the two little girls there if we do that?"
I looked up to see THREE young girls trapped on a ledge near the roof of the cave. I looked at him and said, "There are three - do you want me to get all three?"
"NO," he said emphatically. "If you can reach the two nearest you, I can get the third, no problem."
"Ok." He hoisted me up and I just managed to grab the two girls nearest me as the rope swung. I held them tightly.
"Great. Now we'll let you down slowly. We'll see you at the bottom."
It was unnerving beyond measure to be lowered with my arms full and not be able to use them to feel more balanced, but I held onto the little girls for dear life. The pitch dark seemed to last a lifetime, and children zoomed in out of the darkness to hold onto me and be lowered down, some desperately wanting to be hugged/held so that they could feel safer on the descent. Just once, I started to go to hug one, but held onto the girls for dear life. I was NOT going to let them fall. The others could hold onto any part of me - legs, torso, whatever - but I was NOT letting go of the girls.
Finally, gently, my feet touched the floor of the cave and the kids let go of me and ran through the small, triangular opening through which the sun was streaming. I gently put the girls down and looked out to see my friend and the third girl grinning at me from the other side of it as we moved out to join them.