07 December 2008
In the wee hours of Saturday I had a dreadful wrestle. I woke up in the middle of the night from one of the most terrifying dreams I've ever had. (A few of you were in it, but that's as much as I will say.) Thrashing and crying, I naturally disturbed Rob, who tried his best to chase away the thick dream-fog of fear by holding me tightly. I couldn't shake it loose though; it clung to me and continued torturing my mind long after I awoke. Rob eventually asked if he could please give me a priesthood blessing, and I agreed. About halfway through his prayer, I began to notice a strange sound. I couldn't identify it at first and thought maybe there was an odd buzzing in my head. When Rob ended the blessing he fell quiet and we both listened; it was a bird who'd set up a constant call—an owl. Our screech owl!—the one who has made his winter home in our backyard for the past few winters. It was the first time we'd heard him since this season's chill came on, and the first time ever that we'd known him to cry out in one unending string of bird language. Always before he'd hooted comically just a few syllables at a time, pausing between his sentences. It unsettled me at first, until I recognized what sound was reaching my ears, and then it sweetly reassured me, like a personal message from some other Being whose protective eyes are open while mine must close: It's frightening now, but I am here, and I am not going anywhere. Listen to my voice and rest; I will watch through the night.