"In the distance I saw all kinds of birds circling over something, but I couldn't tell what from where I was."
"Yes," he murmurred, "Go on..."
"I started walking towards the birds...and then I couldn't see them because I was walking into the sun, but I could still hear them. Eventually the sun sank beneath the horizon and I could make out the shape of a ramshackle house."
"I see," he paused, "Did you enter the building?"
"Yes, I did." I replied.
"What did you see?"
"The house was made of pine boards and roadside signs. It was low to the ground and there was tumble weed. It looked very dark in side. In my dream I knew it was my house. I walked in and found the place overrun with drugged out partiers. There was food everywhere and trash. Some of the walls stripped down to the studs and the toilet was overflowing."
"When I went into the main room, people were passed out and strewn on old nappy couches. I was very angry and I could fee the bile rising to the top of my throat. I turned toward the fireplace..."
"Yes..." he said, leaning forward, more than mildly interested now.
"Well, a fire started and smoke swirled up and then the brick began to melt away and I could see the sun for a moment."
"And then what?" he breathed.
"The most incredibly large owl swooped in, spread her wings and hovered over the fire. And she was briliantly colored, like a mandala of reds, blues and yellows."
"That's it!" he cried.
"That's what?" I asked, startled by his fervor.
"You have been visited."
"I thought that was the case when you came in here...you're aura, it's different."
"My aura?" I asked, blinking at him. My therapist never vered from your standard Jungian stuff; I'd never believed he'd even heard the word aura before. Now he's reading mine?
"Yes," he said, standing up and tilting his head as he looked at me intently.
I fidgeted a bit, uncomfortable under his direct gaze. I don't think we'd ever formally made eye contact before.
"Yes," he repeated, "It is golden..."
"So?" I asked and blushed.
"So, Marina," he said, "A visit from the Mandala Owl...this means that your awareness has expanded and you're psychic powers can be tapped. That she visited you when you were in a state of righteous anger means that you are called."
"Yes, and your golden aura seals it. You psychic vision is clear and you can see for miles. You are integrated...mind, body and spirit and you are ready."
"Ready for what?" I asked, standing, arms akimbo. I was starting to think that Dr. Falk might want to take my place on the comfy couch.
"Marina, Golden Marina," he said, looking at me with a tilted head and a glimmer of unshed tears under each eye.
"Don't you see? Don't you see what a combination like that means? Psychic powers, spiritual protection, righteous anger?"
"I don't see," I replied.
"Ah, yes, but you do see," he said with the smugness of a Zen master. "Close your eyes and let your arms hang loose. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and just breath."
I obeyed. It was dark and I could smell a combination of dust and peppermint. The same smell I'd inhaled every Thursday afternoon for the past three years. My eyes remained closed, but the room lightened. I felt immense pride and hope as I began to see the room, see myself standing with my eyes closed, my arms hanging at my sides and my feet firmly planted on the floor.
Startled, my eyes flew open and I took in Dr. Falk. He was crying in earnest now. He strode towards me and grabbed both my hands.
"Marina," he said, "Thank you...I haven't known the Mandala Owl's presence since your grandmother walked on to the spirit world. I was hoping that you'd have the gift too."
"In time, you'll understand your gift. I promise. But for now, we must start your training. I also need to let the elders know of your return.
"I thought I just had some clinical depression issues you were going to help me with." I said as I slumped back down on the couch.
"Those are side effects of your empathic nature," he said as he began throwing items from his desk into a satchel, "They must be treated before awareness can occur. I had to be sure that was the case and it wasn't just textbook twenty-first century angst."
He stopped searching and zipped up the bag. "Come, Marina, we must go."
"Where?" I asked.
"To meet your destiny."
Thank you to Wellesfan for such a compelling starter sentence!