“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Saturday Night Ghost

Something calmer today.

I even chose the image with a lot of empty space, or at least empty-ish space, over a close-up shot of these wonderful little popcorn flowers, because it feels calmer. The fence across the street seems to stagger under the weight of these little blossoms - I don't know their real name.

I saw a ghost Saturday night.

Or an angel. Or just some mist in the road. You decide.

It was time to see Charlie home. He is still living in Mary's house, trying to figure out his new life, wanting to live with me, but there is a already a cat in my house, and she will have none of it. So Charlie comes & goes, and makes overtures to her - I expect him to bring bouquets anyday; he is quite Cary Grant-like, dressed in a tux, elegant to the nth degree.

I'd left the glass door open Saturday night - no barrier for Charlie to feel - and he'd visited in & out, been petted & sweet-talked to by the lovely, lovely Katie, and growled at by the aggravated Maggie, and meandered here & there in the yard. Then, as I mentioned before, came the time to see him home, Katie off to her place & just he & I & the night.

There is something about my neighborhood at night. Something happens. The wind stirs, birds settle, owls awaken - something blows in. Saturday night it may have been a ghost. For there it was, in the middle of the street, a misty looking place, a "lightness". I dismissed it as a reflection on the brick road, a not uncommon occurrence, and Charlie & I set off to Mary's house, the wind picking up, flowers & leaves skittering ahead of us, the "lightness" disappearing as we reached the edge of the street. A car turning the corner didn't stop Charlie - he was across the street in front of it, the car stopping in time to let him pass, then moving on. And then, there it was again - this lightness. A few feet up from me now, and I thought, oh, it's a clear plastic bag, filled with the wind, reflecting the streetlights, and it did look like such, except that it seemed full of smoke or mist, not wind, and as soon as I thought that, it silently, very silently, whooosssshed - the light/mist moving away in all directions, no bag anywhere in sight. A few seconds, nothing more. I felt absolute happiness & smiled into the darkness, stepped onto Mary's driveway, took a few steps and smelled quite strongly the smell of perfume. Not flowers, not the sweet olive tree. Perfume. To be fair, the perfume may have been worn by the passenger of the car that stopped to let Charlie by; it was dark, I saw no one but the driver, but the windows were down, so probably. Probably.

But that reflecting mist? I have no answer. It is easy to think it was Mary, but she is gone, and I have said before, her house contains no leftover Mary energy, no regrets, no unfinished business left behind. It is easy to want it to be Mary - she loved her yard, her garden - perhaps a visit? Perhaps. Easy to think Charlie is her unfinished business, but I hold no thought that she was worried about him - she knew he would be looked after.

A guardian angel, then? Sent on Mary's behalf, to safely help Charlie across the street? I have no answer there. Possibly. Possibly. I was sober, not hallucinating, I saw what I saw, I felt joy at seeing it, so possibly. Just a mist in the road? More than likely, though I cannot explain the reflection of light, the shape (not circular, but roundish), the bouncing movement above the road, the fading away.

I have no explanation, and you will perhaps think me crazy. But it was there. It was real.

And then it wasn't there.

Saturday night lights.


  1. I had a "Mary" once, she was my gardening neighbour. When she passed away suddenly it hit me hard.

    Months later, while out in the garden, speaking with her niece, I mentioned how sad I was that she was gone. There was this warm gust of wind that circled us for a few minutes, and then it left.

    I really don't know what to believe anymore.


  2. Yet it was. There. In your memory and your heart. Charlie looks like my Clyde did before his long hair suddenly appeared. Bless you for watching after dear Mary's beloved kitty. I believe that she knows...

  3. I love stuff like that- the unexpected possibilities that blow in from nowhere or anywhere or everywhere. Of course you know what/who it was.

  4. I believe that it had to be Mary!
    Charlie looks just like our Rocky.

  5. Perhaps only you would believe me, Debi

    Call it hallucinations of an insane mind -- I have seen ghosts/spirits and I feel surrounded by them many a times...like even able to talk with them...

    Its almost over 6 months that I read you, almost lost track and today i saw you again at Polona's :)

    Prose interest me only when its a life experience -- memoirs like --and I love to read you, Debi :)


  6. Not crazy at all! Whatever it was or wasn't, you felt it's magic, a beautiful mystery that put a smile on your face, delightfully mysterious.

  7. Life is a mysterious fog___
    we see the real,
    collect the blossoms
    of 'lightness'
    for pressing.

  8. Thank you. Your words said it all... perfectly.

  9. Hell, I see that ghost three times a week. Usually it wants me to mix it a gin and tonic.

  10. i love ghost stories. it sounds like a very positive, very magical encounter. but agree with robert that a g&t might not be a bad idea. :-)

    and i love your secret words. did you know that they show in google reader?


  11. Robert - Well, that answers my question. :)

  12. Julie - I am unfamiliar with Google Reader, so, no, I didn't know. :) Brenda told me to google it up & learn about it, but I haven't had time. One of these days . . .

    :) Debi

  13. i don't use google reader..i just read your mind.

    and would you mind if it had been me floating just ahead, sort of roundish, sort of lightness, pacing you and charlie on your way to mary's garden in the saturday night lights?

  14. her house contains no leftover Mary energy, no regrets, no unfinished business left behind.

    Now that is a beautiful commentary on a life well lived. I hope the same can be said of me.

  15. I'm so glad you told this beautiful story.
    And I am with Relyn...so perfectly said. While we all want the energy of a loved one to linger for US, for the one passing, to be gone is to be content and ready to let go.

    Love this.


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