Hauntings

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Freedom .

Today is Halloween…Samhain. It’s said that the Veil is thinnest now. The Veil between the worlds. Between Life and Death. This year, it’s thinner than I’ve ever known it. I’ve found a lump. An odd little lump that shouldn’t be there. Or rather, it’s found me.

I had planned to take the day off for Halloween. To me, it’s sorta like working on Christmas Day. But I have to be in the office today to finalize a report, that is, if the rest of my team will actually be there. As soon as that’s done, I’ll call my new doctor and see if I can get an appointment for…any time this year. I would have felt perfectly comfortable seeing my last physician for this and his nurse would have worked me in, but he left his practice to pursue a career in cosmetic laser surgery in Destin, and hopefully I won’t need him for that. I changed all my doctors around six to eight months ago, and I’m not quite sure what I think of these new ones yet. Time will tell. It always does.

My mind is so full of random thoughts right now. Which is not good because I need to be focusing on giving a thumbs up to this $621M file I’m reviewing. “Service before Self” as my employer likes to say whenever it’s convenient for them. Same employer who asked me several years ago to drop by on my way home from the ER and delay taking pain meds long enough to sign off on a couple of contracts. Yeah, my mind’s jumping all over the place.

And of course, my thoughts go to the worst, to the possibility of cancer. I’d love to discuss this matter with some of my colleagues who’ve found similar troubles, but I’d need my Ouija board for that.

My first thought is the overworked mom, writer, civil servant. “Oh, crap—I don’t have time to fight for my life. How can I possibly schedule a crisis that might include long-term medical treatment or even surgery?”

The cynic wanders in, too. “Well, *&#%. I guess this would make my celibacy permanent.”Flying By Night novel

The mom in me is there, too, with worrying over the girls and what they’d do if I got sick, or worse. And what pressure that would be on them and how I wouldn’t want it to be hard for them and then, oh, crap, what if I’m sick and don’t have a lawn service yet or a mower and who’s going to mow the yard and Shannon can’t even drive yet to run to the pharmacy to get a prescription for me and I’ve still got another book contracted and due in six weeks and a couple more books that need to be edited and I haven’t finished putting that new wallpaper border in the bathroom or hung the new ceiling fan yet and what was it Joe said right before he died, that last time we talked and he told me about the oak coffin he’d picked out and about seeing me again soon and the girls have gotten so strong in this past year and they’ll grow up just fine with or without me but who’ll finish all my books I have to write and who’ll tell the stories I have to tell because there are things the girls don’t know and my books are my legacy to them and those I love so they’ll know how the real me felt inside if they didn’t know otherwise and J.J. used to complain to me about how the sun-hat she wore was so scratchy against her bald scalp during chemo and I can’t tell my mom how worried I am because she’ll just worry even more for me and she doesn’t need that kind of stress and how long does it take before disability insurance kicks in and I guess I definitely won’t be having any more kids and there were so many things I wanted to do but got talked out of doing or manipulated into doing something I didn’t want and all those years were wasted but no, nothing is ever really wasted because it all brings us to where we are now and who we are now and we don’t regret the things we do but rather the things we didn’t do and there’s not much I regret in this past year or anything I’d really do differently and I’m not going to kick myself for not being more aggressive or less aggressive or not manipulating an outcome but maybe there’s definitely a sense that I did have a couple of wasted opportunities but then again I didn’t have any say in those things either and so maybe I do feel at times that I’ve wasted the past decade not being a full-time writer like I wanted because I never simply said to my spouse that I’m doing it whether he liked it or not and would things have been different if I hadn’t filed for divorce and I think they would have but in a worse way than they were even then and oh, the risk I took in leaving was worth it in every way and I no longer feel like I have a warden but maybe I wasted time in this past year being too focused on how I relate to other people and not focused enough on financial gain but….

But no. I remind myself that it’s been a turbulent year but a really great one in spite of the turbulence. If I hadn’t been flying, I wouldn’t have felt the turbulence and instead I would have been in a rut and felt the bumps with my ass on the ground instead of with my head in the sky. So many intensities this year. Deepening my relationship with my girls and with my mother. Decorating the house how I’ve always wanted it. Not having to apologize for my beliefs or my tastes. The Gatherings with good friends and the culling of moochers. Feeling like I could really be me. Playing my music as loud or as long as I wanted. The spiritual gifts and new knowledge and new people. The return of the joy of writing, the excitement of selling another book, and the exhilaration of finishing a novel again. The self-discovery and the self-confidence and the freedom. Discovering that there really is a man out there who “gets” me and that I “get” him only to have the Universe make damned sure nothing would come of it by throwing up roadblocks, but still, just realizing there is someone else here from my “planet” who could stir up feelings I didn’t know were there, well, that is cause to celebrate. The attunement to something Bigger, the vision of these books I’m to write and this healing center I’m to be part of and my place in all this. The visions….

I’d forgotten about the visions.

I guess the first one happened November 3rd when I was 14 and upset over the death of a friend and I saw myself in a certain garment, in a certain place, looking about 19 and less gangly. All grown up and no braces. Years later, I took off a blindfold after an initiation ceremony in college and saw myself in the mirror and remembered the vision.

They stopped after I grew up and married but then in September 2001, the girls and I were headed to Georgia to visit my parents, and about 30 miles from home, we ran into the worst thunderstorm I have ever seen. We were on the Interstate with road construction everywhere, and the rain coming down so hard that I couldn’t see the end of the hood of my car, even with the wipers on full blast. The girls were terrified, crying in the backseat and covering their heads with blankets. I couldn’t stop or I’d be rear-ended. I couldn’t pull over because the roadside went down a straight 20 feet into a water-filled ditch. I couldn’t turn off onto a side road because the exits weren’t any more visible than the guard rails on the bridges. So, with a white-knuckled grip, all I could do was keep moving. For another hour and a half, we were stuck in the storm. Lightning all around. Wind gusts. Blinding rain. Loud rain. I kept telling the girls that it would be okay, just be quiet for Mommy and let me drive and I’d get us to a safe place. But I myself was as worried as they were. I really didn’t know if we were going to make it or not and I was doing some serious praying.

Instead of getting back an answer that it would be all right or the clouds suddenly parting and sunshine poking through, I got a vision. With rain beating on the windshield in front of me, I clearly saw myself in the future.

I am older. Maybe 44 to 47. Much thinner, probably another twenty pounds lighter than I am now. Hair to my shoulders and wavy, especially in that place by my left eye that always sticks out when I’ve waited too long for a good cut. I’m wearing a green or maybe brown—Earth colors, anyway—pantsuit with a tie waist. I’m barefoot. Of course. I can’t tell if I’m wearing jewelry. I think I’m wearing cuff bracelets and some rings. I have the staff of a Third Degree High Priestess in my right hand. I’m standing in a grassy field. Aislinn stands behind me, 20 to 50 feet away. She’s grown or almost grown. She’s tall and willowy, something she wasn’t at the time of the vision. Something I didn’t think she’d ever be. She’s got her back to me and looking out over a hillside, like one in the mountains or the Dillard House or maybe in Scotland. She’s dressed in a long skirt and there’s a bit of gypsy in her. It wasn’t her style at the time of the vision, but it’s become so.

And me? In the vision, I’m seeing it from a vantage point at least 10 feet in front of me. I’m smiling but there’s a hint of sadness there, too, as though I’ve been through rough waters. I’m not deliriously happy in this vision, but I am much more contented and peaceful and joy-filled. Things are good but things have been very bad, and I’ve come through it without everything in my life intact.

And yet as I stand there, the breeze blowing my hair, I think I am standing posed for a photograph. But I don’t know who’s taking the picture. But we’re enjoying ourselves, here on this hill. It’s a vacation or a retreat or some type of stop during our travel. This is not home, but this is a place we’ve come to relish for a moment. It’s a vision that I know in my soul to be true when I see it.

So in the midst of that storm, I held onto that vision and held my course and eventually met with the dark edge of the cloud against light and we emerged into the light. The vision has yet to come true, but much of it has lined up for truth. I’m not quite old enough or slim enough and Aislinn’s not quite as tall as in that vision, but all the past harshness and the sadness and the feeling good again have all come to be. At the time I first had that vision, I was not a Third Degree and I had no idea that a staff was linked to my Third Degree-hood.

There have been other visions, too, and I’m still curious about the one of a man with his little boy. He’s about 40, walking with a child, a little boy, toward the beach. From my vantage point, I can them walking over a sidewalk, toward a boardwalk or pier or something, and I see the ocean sparkling between the buildings, and I know that’s where they’re headed. I can see a boat on the water, too, and the man points out the boat to the boy. The child is only about three years old, maybe a little older, maybe a little younger. He wears a brownish-plaid shirt and khaki shorts and has light brown hair and blue-gray eyes. He looks up at the man with a huge grin and a laugh and reaches up to take the man’s index and third fingers, held out to him. The man is dressed similarly and I see him from the back. His hair is short on the collar and long on top, sorta the style from the early 90’s. His hair is the same color as the boy’s, maybe a little darker, and it may just be coincidence. His sleeves are rolled up or pushed up, as he extends his two fingers to the boy and tells him all about the water and the boats. He’s as excited about it as the child is. I think at first that the child is his son or maybe his nephew, or maybe the child is with me. I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter except that I’m enjoying how much they enjoy each other. There’s a reflection on the other side of him and I don’t know if it’s the child mirrored there or if the boy has a brother. It’s a beautiful scene and so endearing, but there’s no woman in the picture. Then he looks back at me and grins and gestures for me to “Come on!” And I know him. I know him now. But he has no children and I have no little boys in my life. And I don’t know if I’m really there or if maybe I’m just a spirit watching from the Other Side.

But there’s that other vision, too. The one that started last December. The lover-body-swap-vision. I can’t see him, but I can see myself clearly in that vision, and there’s nothing wrong with me. Heh. Nothing wrong with him either.

So I’ll hold onto those visions. Especially now that the Veil is so thin.