Sunday, June 03, 2007

Being Followed ...

One night, not that long ago I was walking home through the dark and I heard the crunch of footsteps in the gravel behind me ... I turned to see who was following and found no one there ...

I continued walking ... and I again heard the distinctive sound of footsteps on the gravel path I was walking on. I didn't stop this time, but instead just turned my head slightly ... behind me a few yards was a shadowy figure ... I turned to face whoever it was and ... they vanished.

I resumed my walk ... and again I heard the footsteps ... I turned my head slightly to glance behind me again, and again I saw the dark shadowy figure falling in step behind me ... I turned to face the path ahead and remembered what one my First Nations friends had said about encountering ghosts. As I walked I looked straight ahead and said, "I know you're there. I'm not afraid of you. You may walk with me, or you can walk past me. But I know you're there ..."

As I walked home I continued to hear the crunch of gravel behind me, and when I glanced back there was a figure lurked in my peripheral vision ... never gaining ... never falling behind ... just keeping up with me ... I just assumed they were happy to walk behind me along the dark moonlit path ...

As I entered my yard, I knew they were still there, so I stopped inside the gate and thanked them for walking with me, and invited them to stay as long as they needed to ...

In time I continued to sense my visitor around our house, particularly in my basement office: the dog would react and bolt from an empty room where only she and I sat ... the rocking chair in my office would begin to rock back and forth with no one in it ... the cushions on the couch would compress like someone was sitting there ... and late at night when I worked on the computer I would catch a fleeting glimpse of someone standing in the hallway outside my office door ...

Not once did I feel fear ... knowing my visitor was there brought me comfort and made me feel safe ...

Later I mentioned all of this to one my friends who is well versed in the ways of his grandparents and elders ... He thought for a long moment the looking me in the eye he said quietly, "It's one of the old timers come back to look after you ..."

I must have looked puzzled because he said - "the night they came was the night of the youth doing their dances by the river ... we are in a restless time. The spirits come when you use their name, and right now many people are talking about their grandparents, and that isn't right. Their grandparents come from the spirit world because they've been called, but no one wants them for anything, and so they are left to wander ... That night the kids were drumming and dancing inside the long house they built, so the spirits found some place that felt right ... it felt like home."

I commented that I remembered seeing shadows beyond the people clustered around the fire, but I thought I was imagining things at the time.

"Oh no," my friend said, "you saw them. They wanted you to see them. Not everyone sees the spirits around us. Many spirits are simply ghosts that are never noticed. But they knew you'd understand why they were here and so you were able to see them ... and when you went home one of them followed you and is being your protective spirit ... He's still here ... He'll be here till you leave. So when you leave thank him, leave him a gift and send him back to the spirit world ..."

In time I followed his instructions and thanked my visitor and sent him home ... but with him went a sense of comfort and safety like I've never known ...

There are days I wish he was still around ...

There are days I wonder how many other ghosts are out there that we simply never see ...

And there are days that I just feel like a ghost ...

1 comment:

wendy said...

spooky but very very interesting-and the first nations connection to it all somehow makes it a less spooky and more gentle-spiritual experience. how did you ask him/her to leave?