“What do you want to do today?” he asks.
“I want to watch the sunset.”
“Lead the way.”
I’ve talked to him often since he appeared in a dream during the summer. When I forget, he asks questions.
“How are you feeling? What do you need?”
“I’m scared and sad about violence in the world and destruction of the earth. I’m tired of worrying and feeling helpless.”
“Can I help?”
“I don’t know. It’s nice to have your company. Let’s watch the sunset now and that apricot horizon.”
I remember his gentle kiss on the back of my head when I dreamed of him. His steps are silent now and I don’t see him, but my body remembers the dream. I sit on the wooden bench where I watch the sunset and imagine him next to me, demanding nothing.
I’m afraid to look closely. He might flee like Eros when Psyche tried to see her hidden lover. Since Eros came only in the night, Psyche’s sisters convinced her she was sharing her bed with a monster, so Psyche lit a forbidden lamp and looked. She gasped at the beauty of her winged Lover, but one drop of hot oil burned his body and startled him out of sleep. He flew away, leaving her alone with grief and despair.
I don’t know how to behave with my new companion. Should I look more closely? For now, he’s a bright form, a dreamy figure, a feeling of promise.
“I can be whoever you need me to be,” he says. He’s the mystery prince in my personal fairytale.
“Let’s find milkweed pods,” I suggest after the sun sinks below the horizon. “Do you like Monarchs and milkweed?”
“Yes, of course,” he says following me downhill.
“This is the only place I found pods this year,” I say. “Most milkweed flowers dried up without making seeds, but in the spring they’ll send up plants from roots.”
“I like that you know that,” he says in his silent way. “I like your connection to the Earth.”
Our conversation is soundless, good for a woman who struggles with hearing.
“I feel unsure since hearing loss and the pandemic. I often feel isolated and too alone.”
“I’m here,” he says. “Just for you.”
“Do you have wings like the Greek Eros?”
“Do you see wings? I’m what you imagine me to be. I’m created by your Imagination.”
“There’s no hurry,” he says. “We have time to fall in love. I’ll be back when the milkweed blooms and you fall in love with Spring. I’ll be back with the butterflies.”
Do you have favorite stories or memories for this romantic time of year? Vic and I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. “Everyday is Valentine’s Day with each other,” we’d say. This year just imagining spring feels like a visitation from Eros.
For other posts about Psyche and her lover Eros, see Eros and Arrows of Love. For a post about a lesson I’ve learned from the myth of Eros and Psyche, see Clutched: An Essential Lesson from Psyche’s Fourth Labor.