The Oak
December 7, 1984
Werner Zurfluh
e-mail: Homepage

With my wife Cathy, I am in a city, whose radiation is modern and nevertheless somehow medieval. There is a park, where swans swim in a pond to which I stroll - even into the water. I ask the white birds, if they would allow me to fly with them. That reminds me of Selma Lagerlöfs novel. With it, I realize not only the similarity with the history of Nils Holgerson but also my current situation, to be out-of-body. The dream is lucid, I am conscious! I think, that all the opponents of the axiom of the multi-dimensionality will speak in this moment of Kryptomnesia again. This is a possible objection, but it doesn't bother me - like always in such lucid moments. Rather it seems important to me, to ask the animals for their approval.

Kindly I'm allowed to become a member of the bird-group. Soon on it we take off from the water and ascend. Although I hardly have problems with flying, it seems a little inappropriate, because I have the feeling, that I shouldn't join the passage of the swans to fly away with them, and have to go elsewhere. So I prepare to come in to land. But before the landing, I still do some flight-attempts.

With the arms I beat up and down like the wings of the animals hovering before me in the air. That reminds me of the TV-show «The flying Ferdinand». There, after tasting a flower, the people were able to fly. This thought is amusing.

After the landing, I go through the narrow alleys of the city and finally reach a gate. At the passage, I notice, that this gate is like a border between «this world» and «the other». The mood is like on the picture the «rock-gate» of Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1818). This amazes me, especially as the distinct passage over the border is unexpectedly, and I become conscious urgently, that in this moment a principal border is overstepped.

Something is done with it, that can not be justified from the everyday life. In fact I always have «dreamed» in the last nights very clearly and in a positive manner. However, now it seems to be a step, that involves me as person in the heart. Actually a city is left, i.e. a world with a quite own description. It goes into another reality. Into this I had entered already, but it was only temporarily - and now it is final

Somehow I realize, that this experience won't finish in the city again. Rather a threshold, a border, is overstepped in this moment. This step can't be undone. A world remains behind me, to which I have finally said goodbye. I will never come back again into this old world! In fact this happens completely unexpected and with a suddenness, for which there can be no preparation. Although there will be no return, there is absolutely no occasion to regret.

On the other side of the gate, we rise further on a rather narrow mountain-path. After a while we are in the middle of the mountains. On the right is a deep canyon, on whose bottom a mountain-brook flows into the direction, from which we have come. To the canyon there are big tree-trunks. Some are over 20 meters long and have a diameter of more than one and a half meter. I think of the mountain-people, which have placed these trunks here - it's amazing! When nearer looking at and touching it, I can determine, that these trunks are from oak. - They will hold decades or even centuries!

Then I discover to my great astonishment, that these trunks, that form a way, are not fallen single-trees. Rather they are the roots of one tree. This is hardly to believe, because an oak with such roots must have gigantic dimensions. Therefore I check the issue again. I am still completely conscious, aware, lucid, and knowing to be in the dream-state. However, this lucidity makes me even more critical and lets me look even more exactly. With the exact contemplation and examination of the course of the «trunks» it becomes doubt-freely clear, that these are roots.

I step at the right edge of the way, in order to look up better. What I see there surpasses all my expectations concerning the size of an oak. The dimensions of this plant are simply not to grasp. It is in any case bigger than everything that I know. The steepness of the terrain formed by the oak seems insurmountable. The tree, whose roots has created this wonderful way, sticks approximately 1500 to 2000 meters into the height and is in the middle of a gigantic mountain-kettle. The crown of the oak is not to be seen, maybe it even towers above the surrounding summits. But it is clearly to recognize, that it is a castle, a type of palace - formed from engulfed parts of the branches of the crown. And we are underway to this place!
«Possibly we will reach it, when we have died!»

We hike further and get with the time out of the root-area. Now we can no longer continue on the steep track formed by the roots. The trunk-basis of the oak towers like a wall before us and can not be overlooked. Here ends the path! In order to progress, we will have to climb. Because of the strong strips of the bark, this should be possible. I take on the top of our small group and feel slowly and carefully a hold for feet and hands.

Soon it turns out, that a mountaineering is enormously difficult despite the structure of the bark. With the right hand I feel a groove, which is from below not visible. It gives hold and allows a pulling up. And then, with the left hand, a sawdust mass is to be sensed. I can push away it easily and expose a split, that offers a good grip. I can insert my forearm into it and jam the arm like a lever to levering up myself. Cathy will also be able to overcome this point!

I wonder, if these helps for climbing have always been here. They were obviously filled with a kind of sawdust over the years, centuries and millennia. This mighty tree amazes me more and more. Somehow a deep connection exists between it and me. Nevertheless I doubt, if we will be able to climb more than ten or twenty meters, because the trunk-basis almost becomes overhanging after a few meters.

But then - already after five meters - I reach a ledge. That is something completely unexpected. And the fact is even more astonishing, that here is the entrance to a cave. A hidden opening to a tree-cave, that can not be seen from below. A stone falls of my heart!

"Cathy, it's ok, you can climb up!"
Soon my wife is with me, and I help her over the ledge. Together we step into the tree-cave. The walk is eyactly so high, that we can go up. After approximately six meters, it makes a turning to the left. From then on it goes up relatively steep. This path forms the continuation of the root-way and can only be reached after overcoming the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of the trunk-basis. It is another structure of the tree and shines from the interior in a yellow-ocher light, that appears warm and cosy.

"Where may this walk lead?"
With this thought, the body lying in the bed becomes perceptible again.

top of page

translatded and converted to HTML Mai 1996 - first publication
©Werner Zurfluh