I dreamed one night that I was on my knees, digging in a luminously dark garden with a trowel. An old, wizened, white-haired woman knelt beside me on my right. All around me, it was dark, but yet light at the same time. There was a glow about the place that was both frightening and comforting.
As I dug into the loose, crumbling earth, I started uncovering mealy worms, little grey grubs, then longer worms that were white and blind. Thick and snakelike, they writhed in the hole I was digging and my stomach turned when I looked at them.
I was revolted. I wanted to drop my trowel and leave.
I thought of stopping, but the old woman crouched beside me said I should keep digging and not be afraid. I continued, quelling the churning of my stomach, and the worms got larger and wilder, the deeper I went. The old woman told me to put my hands in the hole I was digging, to run the ground and worms through my fingers. I soon saw that some of the creatures were snakes, and I was horrified, afraid to follow her instructions.
They’ll bite me, I thought fearfully, but I did as she told me. And when I put my hands into the hole, the snakes didn’t harm me. They hardly seemed to notice me, but only wriggled and writhed — never showed signs of attacking or biting me.
Fascinated and still a little afraid, for some time, I reached into the hole, came up with both hands full of earth and worms and snakes, watching them fall through my fingers and run between my palms. Now and then, a shiver would come over me and I’d think about stopping, but the old woman by my side told me not to be afraid, it was alright. I was fascinated by the sight of those creatures, still waiting for them to attack me, but I was never harmed by them. Before long, my fascination took over and I began to enjoy the feel of the snakes and worms and ground in my hands. After running the ground, worms and snakes through my hands for a while, I replaced them in the hole, covered it up, and looked around.
The old woman was gone.