A Journey to the Heart
By Molly Anderson | Posted 7/7/07 | Updated 2/20/24
I had a dream of a strange city in the desert. I passed a man who said, "I am lost here! This is my home, but I cannot find my way." Because I could not find his way for him, I simply nodded and smiled. I walked on, and as I walked, I saw a beautiful, dainty creature approaching me. She had the four legs, tail, and body of a little brown goat, but the upper body, arms, and head of a lovely girl.
"La fauna! Buongiorno!" I cried in Italian. I somehow instinctively knew that this was not an American dream, an American city. She nodded, smiled, and walked on, with a saucy little flip of her tail. I continued to the edge of the city, where I saw a herd of fauns, very similar to her, all walking away towards the desert that surrounded this place. Their backs were turned to me, and I saw them sadly disappear into the cracked desert hardpan.
The dream dissolved, leaving fresh questions in its wake. I had to find out more. Why were the fauns leaving the city? And who was the one brave enough to stay? I longed to meet with the little faun again, and ask her why she had separated from the herd to go her own way. In many ways, she reminded me of myself; I have never been one to "follow the herd." The view never changes, and I will choose the unique experience over the common one every time.
Research yielded only frustration. I found several references to Pan and Robin Goodfellow, or Puck, but no female fauns. Fauna, an Earth and fertility goddess from ancient Greece, was the closest I could find, but the little faun I had seen was not a mother-goat or an old nanny, she was a fresh young kid. Mysteries abound. Unable to obtain the information I needed from outside sources, I knew I had to look within to find the answers.
I created a visualization, trying to recapture every detail of my dream — the city, the lost man, the fauns in a tight bunch, leaving civilization behind — and that one little faun who stayed. When the picture was clear in my mind, and I felt ready, I went walking through the city, in search of La Fauna.
I found her beside a swiftly-flowing river, bathing her feet in the water. Greeting me with a nod, she says, "You are here with many questions, yes?" She speaks in perfect Italian and, to my surprise, I also answer her in that language, as if I was born to speak it. (I have translated our conversation into English for the benefit of our readers.)
"Then follow me, and you may find the answers." Leaping nimbly across the river, she begins to walk away, never looking back. I wade through the cold water, wring myself out to dry on the opposite shore, and follow her just as she's about to disappear.
"I saw many fauns leaving the city " I begin. She nods, eyes suddenly sad.
"Yes. They are leaving because they have lost hope. Our race is here to inspire, teach, and help you humans to find the wild nature you have misplaced in your cities and suburbs." She sighed. "Many of these fauns are broken-hearted. They do not wish to leave their homes, but they have no choice. We cannot find a single human who will believe in us, and without a purpose, we may not stay in this place."
"Where will they go?"
"Into the wild, the desert places where no man dwells. There, they will languish and die." Her large brown eyes fill with tears, and she begins to weep. "I am the last of my kind who still holds out hope for your race. I have pledged to stay here until I encounter someone who can save us."
"But that's awful! What can I do to help?"
"There is nothing that can be done. I must find The Writer, she will know. We have an appointment, and she is late." La Fauna looks around, worried. "Irresponsible human! Doesn't she realize what's at stake?"
"But I am The Writer."
"Why did you not speak of this before? You are the one who dreamt of our plight, and will bring this dream out into the waking world. You seem familiar to me. Have we met before?"
"Yes. I dreamt of you! We met on the day the fauns left the city. I remember passing you in the street. That's why I'm here. I had to see you again, and hear your story!"
"How did you return to the dream?" she asks, amazed. "Surely, you must be a powerful sorceress to possess this magic."
"No magic. Just my imagination! I remembered the dream, and I imagined myself here again, speaking to you, and here I am!"
"This is wonderful, more fabulous than I dared to dream!" She begins to skip and dance, kicking up her tiny hooves.
"What must I do?"
"There is naught you can do, but believe. Encounter the wild one, La Fauna, who dwells in your heart, and dance with her. Do not shut her out, or silence her. Do not fear her. Let her sing, and your heart will be whole. Let her teach and guide you. Follow her always into the untamed places of the soul. Share this dream with others, so that they may begin to believe again in the deep things your race has long forgotten."
She reaches for my hand, and begins to skip around in circles with me, in sheer delight. I hear a clattering of many hooves on the cobblestones. As we skip and dance, I see that several other fauns have joined us. One is playing a drum, while others sing and play tiny flutes carved from reeds. We dance a wild reel, spinning out of control. La Fauna laughs, spinning me around more and more quickly. She releases my hand and I spin away, landing in the chair before my writing-desk with a bounce and a giggle. Strangely enough, there is a new file open on my computer screen. As I read in growing amazement, I find there an account of my adventures with La Fauna. I have arrived home just in time to write "The End."
©2007 by Molly Anderson. All rights reserved.
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