Dance in the Bat Cave

I was on the platform, writing a poem. The night hung in inky stillness just beyond the perimeter of the house. All at once a bat skimmed within inches of my head. This, by itself, isn’t unusual. But what followed was. He streaked past, silvery, soundless, lightning-quick. But he didn’t leave. He circled the light hanging over the dining table. He looped through the bedrooms, out the opening above the bathroom wall, back through the front door, over the platform, under the platform, dizzying in his speed. I watched with horrified fascination, huddling crouched behind my computer screen.

Then there were two, flying in tandem, silver streaks, graceful, ghostly in the night. And then a third. They split up, like Blue Angels, performing an air show of astounding precision. Unnerved and outnumbered, I grabbed my notebooks and phone, scurrying to the bedroom where I could shut the door, lower the blind, and watch out of reach. As I was executing my mad dash, one of them passed at knee height, slicing the air in front of me. Heart thumping against my ribs, I bolted into the bedroom, fumbling to pull the door closed behind me. I threw my armload of stuff on the bed en route to the bathroom door and slammed it shut. Adrenalin surging, I sped across the room to the window with no glass. That morning I had methodically wound the rope that lifts the blinds a few extra turns around the post for good measure. I tore at the string for agonizing moments, certain that one of the flighty creatures would streak in and not find it’s way back out. The blind released.

Safe at last, I moved back to the door, opening it a crack. They were still there. I stood, watching the aerial ballet, transfixed. They knew where I was, of course, and they wanted me to know they knew. Their pattern shifted. One by one they skimmed past my nose which was pressed into the observation crack of the door. I don’t know how long it was, 20 minutes…30…but on and on they danced for me until there wasn’t a shred of doubt in my mind that this was a visitation. Someone bolder may have joined them. They seemed to want that. But I am not someone bolder.

Bing image

Bing image

Wouldn’t I love to know what that was about! Maybe my three daughters visited me in spirit last night. Maybe a series of three events will happen. During meditation this morning another thought occurred to me. I was entranced by the beauty of the bats in flight. There was no furry ugliness, no dark threat, just streaks of liquid silver pirouetting in the light. Perhaps fear is like that, posing as a black demon that incapacitates and renders helpless. But maybe, like the bats, there’s a different truth. If we find our way past the illusion, there may be a wild, silvery dance just beyond the fear.

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diane Struble
    May 25, 2013 @ 02:32:56

    When you were little, Carole and I had a bedroom in the attic at your house where we were visited nightly by bats and mice. The bats never danced for us, but the mice did. They danced in the moonlight streaming through the window. Another of nature’s amazing moments.

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  2. Karin Grouf
    May 25, 2013 @ 02:52:32

    Once one gets past that they are bats they are beautiful to behold. When young I went to camp in the Berkshires Mass. and we had a barn with a boulder that became converted into bunks. Every night bats would appear as it was their home and we sharing it. I think they are darling as long as they donn’t get in your hair. Eat insects and keep them at bay.

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  3. Shane McRae
    May 25, 2013 @ 06:40:24

    Your story is beautiful and so well written. Thank you for sharing it.

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  4. Sharon
    May 25, 2013 @ 11:48:38

    Awesome story and writing sherry.

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      May 25, 2013 @ 21:59:59

      It was an unfamiliar sensation…to be simultaneously repulsed and enthralled. The repulsion evaporated and was replaced by awe as I watched. And then an approach/avoidance complex emerged…to dance or not to dance with them! Part of me longed to be that free, but another part of me didn’t feel safe. At some point we all weigh the risk factor with the safety factor and make a decision.

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  5. healingpilgrim
    May 25, 2013 @ 22:43:42

    Next time… bolder or not, I hope you shall join in the dance – even if it’s a safe distance! Wow.. what powerful images and interpretation, thnx for sharing so poetically xo

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  6. jessa
    May 27, 2013 @ 22:50:50

    It was us, Mom!!! 😉 xoxo Can’t wait to see you soon!

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      May 28, 2013 @ 03:41:43

      I figured! That was seriously my first thought when the 3rd one showed up! I could not believe how long they stayed, especially because all the lights were on in the house and bats typically don’t like light! It was surreal.

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