From my journal:
“I have no idea how come Elder Brother, I’itoi, the creator in the Tohono O’odoham people and of the desert’s beautiful “crimson evening,” would visit me in my dreams. Elder Brother does not belong to me. I am not of his tribe. Yet he visits me in my dreams. Each time, he draws the transparent line in the dark and a creek is created. It becomes a roiling dark river. In my dream, Elder Brother walks along the river. He is tall and silhouetted in the dark against a sliver of a moon just past new. I am being swept along in the river. I am drowning, though I know how to swim. I’itoi, Elder Brother, reaches into the river and pulls me out. I awake with a great gasp of air. In the second between sleep and awake, I see a small spot of light in the distance as I am lifted out of the water. And then, I’itoi puts me down and I feel the ground beneath my feet.”
From my journal:
“I sleep with a silver acacia seed pod under my pillow. I don’t know why it is important, but it is. The silver pendant is held with a square knot on a soft leather strip, to make it easy to pick up. Last night I put it on my wrist, so I would not drop it. As I felt more and more sleepy, I slipped it off my wrist and put it under my pillow. I felt the knot pull tight as I took it off. I wondered if I would dream of I’itoi again.
I don’t remember the dream, but I remember that I dreamed. It was important, but I could not remember the dream. I got up and got ready for the day. As I do most mornings, I reached under my pillow for the silver acacia seed. It was far under the pillow and when I pulled it out, there was no knot in the leather thong. It was completely untied. I don’t know what it means, to have the knot unbound, to have that which was tied, untied. But I smiled when I saw it. I was neither frightened, nor mystified, just surprised. I’ll have to wait to see what it means.”
—Quinn McDonald is a dreamer and a naturalist who keeps a journal.