Hi Patty -
Your dream is common among people who are responsible for the care and livelihood of others. First-time mothers of newborns, especially, often have this style of “fear” dreams. They dream they have been shopping for hours when suddenly they realize they have no idea where their baby is - or they dream they left the newborn all day in a hot car - or they dream that the babysitter fell asleep and that the child escaped the house,... etc.
Time, as we all know, is confusing in dreams. Even though you haven’t raised finches or canaries for years now - it is not uncommmon that occasionally in dreams your mind will think back to that period when you were raising the birds. Then of course - we all know what happens next. Suddenly we are back in time, and we believe that we actually are raising the birds in the present. And then the old fear thought - that used to circulate in our minds when we were actually raising the birds - pops up. “What if we forgot about the birds and they didn’t have enough water or food to survive?
It’s a pretty funny ending to the dream, though. The birds are OK, but you are left feeling terribly guilty! What’s the meaning of this dream? Maternal instincts are eternal- that’s all!