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Strange peace

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The house was almost 200 years old when I lived there as a child; one of the oldest in the village. There were trees around it then; one in the corner where the small pine is now and one in the front, across from the porch. This one had a large bolder beside it that I used to climb and play on. We also had permanent awnings over all the windows if I recall. What I do recall, with perfect clarity, are the spirits with whom I dwelled.

The incidents varied, but occurred regularly. I spent most of my time living in a constant state of fear and terror. Though I never said anything to my mother until years after; when she verified that it wasn’t simply my overactive imagination, by sharing her own experiences with me.

It didn’t matter whether inside or out; they found me wherever I was. Although, if sent outside, I spent most of my time visiting with the old ladies that lived on the block; and while they {the spirits}, made their presence known to me, they never followed me out of the yard.

It was strange, my relationship with the ladies. There were three of them in all; Agnes, who lived two houses down, Mrs. McAdams who lived across the street and the lady behind us whose name I can’t remember, but can see clearly the two large ferns that sat atop brass stands in her sitting area, and her two Pomeranians that looked like little foxes.

And while the candy in the porcelain dishes was usually stale, and lunch consisted of green onion and mayonnaise sandwiches, our conversations, on those occasions when we chose to talk, was typically a Q & A session about their lives. Normally this was prompted by a piece of jewelry or dress that I came out wearing; asking of the origin and when and where they had worn them.

They never minded that I rummaged and ransacked their closets, drawers and jewelry boxes, because I took them back; took them to a place that might not have been forgotten, but was rarely, if ever, spoken of. They told their stories, with far away looks in their eyes and I listened intently; while sipping bitter tea from china cups and eating my onion-mayo finger sandwiches with the crust neatly trimmed off.

These were peaceful times for me, when the majority of my world consisted of things that were beyond my comprehension; beyond this world entirely. But there were a few times when I was sent to my room {far right window – second floor}, for whatever reason, and it was everything I could do to hold my eyes open. I distinctly remember the cross breeze blowing in over me, as I lay on top of my bed; the sweet scent of lilacs wafting in with it, bringing a smile that filled me with happy, from the inside out; and a gentle caress along my head and back, which brought me strange peace and comfort incomparable to any I had ever known.

It was as if God Himself were lulling me to sleep; which was completely understandable in my mind, as He lived right across the street in the church that sat on the opposite corner. When I wasn’t with the ladies, I was playing on the front steps of the church; knowing full well that not only could they not get me there, but didn’t even dare show themselves!

Yesterday I was at a loss; unable to find the words to adequately describe the beauty of the day, which filled and overwhelmed me completely. Suddenly, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. All was quiet, but for the breeze rustling in the trees; the southern sun warming the earth around me. I had done everything that needed doing and found myself lying atop my bed; the gentle breeze blowing over me, as I lay gazing at the moss swaying in the treetops, and suddenly I was taken back; to a place that has never been forgotten, but is rarely, if ever, spoken of.

I could feel the shift the moment it happened; the temperature of the breeze changing dramatically, the heady scent of lilacs filling my senses, though there are none in this area; and a gentle, familiar caress along my head and back; filling me with that same strange peace that I hadn’t felt in some thirty odd years.

I was taken back to be reminded; but reminded of what?

That the demons I’ve wrestled of late are of my own creation and insignificant in comparison to those I faced in the past? That although we may dwell alongside demons, of human and spirit origin, He is right across the street and watching always?

I pondered the reasons, briefly; as I closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep…

Ⓒjillterry


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