For some indeterminate period I lay staring up into a seamless blue sky. Then in a matter of moments the sky filled with clouds and rain began to fall. But it was warm rain, and it felt good, so I stayed put. I closed my eyes and let the soft drops bathe me.

When the rain stopped I opened my eyes. The clouds departed just as quickly as they’d arrived and the warm sun returned. The water evaporating from my skin brought me a simple. material pleasure that had a nostalgic tinge to it…although nostalgia for what, I couldn’t say.

By the time I was completely dry, I noticed that the sun was getting low in the sky and the temperature had dipped a bit. I figured I’d better start looking for a place to spend the night, so I got dressed and started back into the forest.

I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for, but I figured I’d know it when I found it. Sure enough, after about a half-hour of wandering I found the entrance to a small cave and poked my head in. It was dark in there, but warm, and by now the evening was cold enough to make a cozy little cave seem appealing. I crawled inside and before long I was asleep, again, with the ripe loamy scent of soil in my nostrils.

And then I started to dream within my dream. This new dream was different, though. Now I was some kind of animal. A big cat, I think. Everything looked, sounded, and smelled sharper than it ever had before. I was a creature of pure sensation; no language, no extra thought, no inner conflict. A huge full moon glittered overhead like, well, like a huge full moon. Just that and nothing more.

Suddenly I became aware of something important in the vicinity. Something moving. And there it was, on a branch close by, pinned down by the pitiless moonlight: prey. Without hesitation I leapt, and before crushing it in my teeth I had just an instant to catch the last look in its eye, a look that had barely had time to begin developing into terror. Then I was chewing, feeling the bones crunch satisfyingly, the blood drip down my chin.

Yes… well… it sounds a bit strange now, I realize. In the moment it was just what was. That one kill didn’t fill my stomach; it took several more before I was ready to find a warm spot and curl up contentedly to digest.

When I opened my eyes again I was back in my cave with yellow-green morning light filtering in, facing a new day that was a complete mystery.