Imagining a Visit from Eros

My dream visitor follows me as I walk up the trail with my dogs. I love the feel of him behind me.

“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?”

with dogs at sunset bench

“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.

Cupid (Eros) and Psyche, John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, 1880

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.”

“I don’t see you clearly, but I like your quiet presence. It’s easy to imagine spending more time with you.”

“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.

  1. Dearest Elaine,

    “So, Cupid, draw back your bow
    And let your arrow go
    Straight to my lover’s heart for me
    Nobody but me …”

    Happy Valentine’s Day! I couldn’t resist including Sam Cooke’s wonderful lyrics on this day of hearts! Oh, I love that Eros has been keeping you company with his tender touch and quiet, loving presence. I’m picturing a handsome God, perfectly balanced with his Divine Feminine aspect, an animus figure who’s been bringing in the love daily. And one who knows you so well and what sets your heart on fire!

    Love is a company that moves us in a myriad of mystical ways. I’m so happy that you’ve been called on by Eros, your archetypal dream lover! I love how he can soundlessly appears in the sunset or the cry of a crow, in a tender kiss or magically by your side. The body remembers love, thank goodness! And on certain days given the right weather conditions, those memories awaken and arouse the heart.

    Hope yours has been a love-filled day!

    All the love in my heart, Deborah

    • We can’t go wrong with those lyrics. I’m picturing a handsome god, too. Maybe I’ll have more dreams about him–or his friends. After this dream, I had another about a helpful young man, but that was also vague, so I wait for the unconscious to clarify–and for me to get my dream files in better order.

      I had this dream a while ago, but it’s been on my mind. Dreams morph into waking experience. Yesterday, I sorted through some boxes and shelves that hadn’t been tended for a few decades. Things like my son’s favorite children’s books, toys, and more family photos. As I sorted piles for recycling, giving away, and asking my sons what they want, I found my wedding dress which I made in 1968–soft yellow cotton with a layer of yellow lace. I decided no one would care about this dress, so I should toss it. I put it on top of a box to burn because it has some loose threads and it’s a 60s minidress so I’ll never wear it again. In the middle of the night, I knew I wanted to keep the dress and that it’s still precious to me. This morning I retrieved it, folded it carefully, and put it in a safe place. I haven’t tried it on, but it’s probably too small. That doesn’t matter. I’m glad I saved it from my impulse to de-clutter. What was I thinking? Making that dress was an act of love. Retrieving it was my Valentine’s gift to myself.

      Spring is strangely early here with promises of coming green. Thank you for sharing your kindness, insight, and mostly your love. Blessings and love across the ocean and over the leafless tree tops.

      • Wow, Elaine, I’m almost lost for words because what you describe regarding your wedding dress could be a separate post, entirely. One of how you found and remembered love on this Day of Hearts. Frayed yet intact, hidden in plain sight, your dress symbolizing a coming together and staying together of love. You sum it up beautifully, “Making that dress was an act of love. Retrieving it was my Valentine’s gift to myself.”

        With regard to your dream visitor, with what I call my ‘big’ dreams I always turn my diary back nine months to see what was coming into ‘being’ at that time. And with you being told that He will return at the time of butterflies, I’m wondering if you had this dream last September. Why? Because you and your animus are becoming lovers and from that archetypal, inner marriage, the birth of a child awaits.

        • It might become a separate post, Deborah. It’s good to remember sitting in a sunny window in the upstairs apartment of an old house where Vic and I lived in 1968 before we were married. We didn’t have much money, so I bought material to make a dress–and I didn’t want a traditional wedding dress. (Vic’s mother insisted I wear white, so I chose yellow.) I’ll have to find the exact date of the dream, but it may have been last fall. i’ll find the date and go back 9 months to see what I discover. May my dream companion return and may there be a birth. Thanks for your great suggestions.

  2. Dear Elaine,
    Thank you so much for the best Valentine of the day, bringing much warmth to the heart!

    • Thank you, Myra. Valentines thrive in my imagination with a mix of gratitude and longing. Let’s enjoy these next few warm days. Love to you.

  3. I love the quiet intimacy of this.

  4. You can’t go wrong letting Imagination guide you down whimsical pathways, some festooned with milkweed pods and Monarchs. I’m guessing themes you are exploring in your book have made their way into your blogpost this week. Yes?

    One of my favorite lines in this post I spotted in comments: “Retrieving it [your wedding dress] was my Valentine’s gift to myself.”

    Here’s to more spring blessings and the impulse to imagine, Elaine! 😀

    • I think you’re right, Marian, but milkweed will pop up in April and Monarchs will arrive near the end of May–I hope. It’s been a good time to give away or recycle things my sons won’t care about, but the wedding dress was going too far.

      May we both keep our imaginations alive and creative. I can’t wait to see what you and Cliff are cooking up in your new book. I imagine your world filled with flowering shrubs and trees. Bluebirds are checking out the nesting boxes, but there hasn’t been any nest building. It’s too early! We’re having spring temperatures for a few days and then there’s light snow in the forecast.

  5. What a Valentine’s Day gift: life-affirming and joyful…and you have signs of spring!??
    SO glad u didn’t throw that wedding dress out!

    • Thank you, Patti. I don’t know what I’ll do with that dress, but maybe it can go in my cremation box when that time comes. I haven’t seen the first flowers although Bluebirds have arrived. They may have spent the winter here in the forest since it’s been so warm most of the winter. Sending love and the beauty of nature in our wild and confusing world.

  6. Wow! That is so wonderful to have such a companion as a guardian, talking telepathically! It looks like you feel like psyche when she meets Cupid. Just beautiful. And I am sure he will return in Monarchs and Milkweed’s time.

    • This definitely has a flavor of Eros (Cupid) and Psyche. I need to find the date of the original dream, but in my focus on a Monarch book, my dreams became disorganized. Nothing was thrown away, so it’s a matter of searching on my computer and in my dream notebook. I’m not dreaming much in recent months, but hope plentiful dreams will return when the Monarchs appear. Spring blessings to you and may there be a miracle of peace in Iran.

  7. This is so lovely Elaine as is reading the comments and the ‘thread’ in them – ditto 100% what Deborah the poet said.
    I’m also reminded of Ariadne sorting – piles and piles of things, and of course seeds appear in your post. But keeping something back – something vital – a glowing gold – your dress of many threads.
    Thank you -love, susan

    • Thank you, Susan. I imagine Ariadne weaving her thread and Psyche sorting her seeds. I love Psyche’s First Labor and always begin with that thought on any new project from clearing out shelves which have been neglected far too long to beginning any new writing project. Without the seeds, we have nothing. My dress seems to beg for its own story. Meanwhile, the dress is neatly folded and in a safe place as I think about what it symbolizes to me. I’m glad I decided to throw it out so I would be nagged in the middle of the night by the wisdom in me that knew better. Sending you love as your days cool and grow shorter.

  8. Oh, Elaine, what a beautiful entry. I love knowing your mystery prince is making his presence known to you, and that there is plenty of time to fall in love! Thank you, once again, for sharing so generously of you inner and outer life. It most definitely warms my heart and sparks my imagination.

    And hurrah for the yellow wedding dress made of love that was saved.
    Sending love and light your way, Anne

    • Anne, our dream lovers have big responsibilities and they carry a heavy weight of projections. Mine hasn’t returned in dreams other than one vague image of a male dream helper, but I talk to him in waking consciousness. He’s here! Thanks for your encouraging words and so is the symbolic dress. I’m so glad I saved my wedding dress. “Isn’t it time to move on?” I ask myself. “It’s never time to move on from the gift of love,” I hear in response. Sending you love and spring flowers. They’ll come here, but not quite yet.

  9. This is so beautifully written Elaine, what a wonderful dream to have with so much love. I’m so pleased you saved your wedding dress – something made from love like that will always be a reminder of all the love in your life.

    • Thank you, Lin. It was a great dream. I need to get to know this animus guy who wants to walk behind me and not in front. The wedding dress needs to go in a new safe container. I’m looking for the right box. I might buy something glass with a lid so I can see the dress and preserve it. I saw the right glass baking dish in the grocery but didn’t buy it. Sometimes I’m too practical for my own good. The dress needs to be protected. I still haven’t tried it on. Coming soon. Love to you and Deborah. Tell her I’ve read the last soulful poems of her book many times and love them every time.

Leave a Reply