Night Travels, Part 2

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.

The next time I’m aware of my astral travels, I’m not alone.

Flying By Night novelAfter my surprise visit to a location 20 miles away, I wonder where I’ll “astral” to next. I find myself walking in a green field with a pagan author I’ve never met. We are working on a collaboration of marketing efforts for our separate publishing companies, joining forces, though not companies. It feels like a prelude to the work we will soon do on the physical plane. I know this. I know this will happen. We are reaching agreements in the astral before we coordinate efforts in the physical. We will meet for the first time this fall at a conference near Ocala, Florida.

Then I’m asleep and dreaming and the girls wake me. I have a morning appointment and one extra hour to sleep. I go back to bed with the intent to visit…somewhere…for the next hour.

I think it’s more of a somewhen than a somewhere.

I am in another place, somewhere I’ve never been before, but it’s rural and green and I’m very content in this place. I have been on the road with the girls to come to this place, and we’ve passed farmland and warm weather. It seems to be spring here. I’m not sure how long it took to get here, whether it was a half-day’s drive or twenty minutes, but there’s an impression of countryside and…a serenity and nurturing that’s sweet to the taste.

For a moment, I think it might be my parents’ farm. There are elements of their farm, or things that remind me of elements, though it’s not my parents’ farm. They are not there. The house isn’t theirs. The landscape isn’t theirs. But something about this place reminds me of South Georgia or North Florida and I can’t quite peg it.

I feel a little older than I am now. No, it’s not that I feel older, but I feel some distance from the early May evening in 2006. A forward motion. This seems to be somewhere a little ways into the future.

I arrive at this place with the girls, but they’re older than now, though not by much. No more than a few years. We’re talking casually about driving my car and learning to drive and what they need to know and need to remember about driving. I believe Shannon can drive and Aislinn is just learning. Both are somewhat self-sufficient, independent.

There is a man in my life, but he’s not at this place already and not with us, but the girls and I talk and he’s on his way, just busy with work, and will show himself when, well, when he gets here. It’s the way things are in this place and it’s okay.

It seems that he’s my husband or partner, though our relationship isn’t like any I’ve seen before. He’s not present, but he is my lover, friend, partner, and I adore him. I know this by the strong tug in my heart and by the way my mouth moves when I say his name, though I don’t think of him so much as a name as I do a feeling that overwhelms me.

There seems to be a lot of coming and going as everyone pleases. A lot of freedom, a lot of independence. And yet, there is plenty of love and the security of knowing that there is love.

This place isn’t mine exactly, but I’m at home. I’m comfortable. There are lots of people around and they all say hello and know and like me and I seem to know them and be at ease with them. Only, I don’t know any of them here in May 2006. I don’t know anyone at all except for the girls. But in this place, I know them all and well.

Things are more formal and structured when we arrive. I’m not sure if it’s a backyard barbecue or a party or what, but it’s a celebration of some sort and there’s a sense of community and reunion. Not family, though. These are friends, community.

I look around to see who’s here. People of all ages, some families. They smile and say hello and ask after me. I wave and chat and weave among them, being friendly without any pretense at all, but looking for my lover to see if he’s arrived. The girls roam around as well, loosely following me but not under my feet or in my way. Just seeing who’s here and saying hello, looking for friends their age.

I ask if anyone’s seen my lover, and they say no, not yet. It’s almost six o’clock and he’d said he be here by six. I laugh at that because I know he’ll be late, and I hope he doesn’t get a ticket racing here.

There’s still plenty of daylight, though the sun is low and the weather is nice, not so humid yet. I’m wearing a dress, something loose and casual. The hem falls somewhere around my knee. No pantyhose. I’m a little slimmer than I am now, and damn, but I think the dress I’m wearing is white. I don’t usually wear white. Just not my color.

I have to go to the bathroom, and one of the girls—Aislinn, I think—follows me up the back steps and into the white house. It’s big, elegant, two stories…? I don’t sense that it’s mine because I’m noting the furnishings with some degree of delight and newness. It reminds me in some ways of a bed and breakfast inn.

Maybe this house is my lover’s? I don’t know. It seems more connected with him than with me. This whole place seems more connected to him. It’s like I’m an honored guest here.

The scene shifts to the bathroom. It’s more of a powder room. Small, light walls. I’m looking down at my white skirt and its multiple layers, and at my shoes.

Shoes! Ack! I’m wearing shoes. This must be a formal occasion.

They’re an off-white, almost cream color. Flats. Like ballet slippers. Soft. I think they’re soft leather.

Outside the bathroom, I rejoin Aislinn in a foyer near the door. I comment on the red oriental rug on the floor over, I think, dark hardwood. I think there’s a table to the side with a floral arrangement on it, but I’m more intrigued with the rug and comment to Aislinn that it’s just like _____????’s in her house. Only, I don’t know the person I’m telling Aislinn about. I know her then, but not back here in May 2006.

We go back outside and I see my feet taking the steps, one at a time, gracefully, slowly. Out onto the grass and then me saying hello to strangers who are then friends, though none very, very close. I’m not aware of a host in this place. Am I the hostess? Is my lover the host? Everyone seems to look my way as I walk around outside.

They’re all waiting for something.

I ask a few people if they’ve seen my lover and no, they haven’t. He’s late, but while there’s anticipation, there’s not fear that he will not appear.

Shannon and Aislinn are looking for him, too. They’re the ones who alert me. They tell me he’s just driven up and I leave the stranger-friends I’m talking with and make my way beyond the people to where I can see him. There’s a car there, and I know it’s his and I know it’s him stepping out of the car and I feel my heart leap up in a joy of biblical proportions and—

And then the scene shifts, preventing me from seeing this public reunion with my lover.

I now find myself in bed the next morning and waking on white sheets. Alone. My lover’s off and about. There’s a hollow, still warm, next to me, and I’m oh, so content. I stretch like a cat and just glory in the feel of the bed on a morning like this. I’m not rushed or bothered. I’m just…happy.

I check on the girls and they’re up and about, too, but it’s still very, very early and I think I was up very, very late. I tell them I’m going back to bed for a little longer. The truth is, the bed where I slept last night feels so good to me that I don’t want to give it up. This is a feeling of contentment that I want to bottle for forever, even if my lover isn’t in my arms at the moment.

I sleep another hour, then get up and tug on shorts and a T-shirt. I wander outside, barefoot, and think nothing of it. People from last night are sitting on the porch and on the steps and milling around in the backyard, cleaning up and chattering. They smile and say hello. It must have been quite a party last night!

I stop to chat with some but not for long. I’m looking for “mine.” I spot my kids here and there, talking with friends and doing their own thing.

I walk all around the outside of the house but don’t find my lover. His car is gone. He’s not there.

But I have no worries, and no worry about him and his feelings for me. He’s simply off doing his own thing, and that’s okay. I’m enjoying the sunshine and the light breeze, and doing the maternal thing of finding out where my family is before proceeding with my day, but all is well and content in this time and place.

I feel the pull back toward my bed and toward the light in my room, and I wonder where it is—and when it is—that I’ve been.