Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mystical Roommates

I believe in magic. No, I'm not making that up and I'm not kidding. I really do believe in magic. No one can convince me it doesn't exist. I see it constantly and as a child was always a bit confused as to the why of no one else noticing these same unique moments. Fortunately, I was born into a family with an amazing, witty, warm hearted Mom who also saw the occasional magical moment. Humor lives in the overall personality of my large, prolific, Irish Clan of a family, as does an active imagination and a decidely healthy Story Teller gene. We all have it, some more than others. Perhaps that Story Teller gene is responsible for some of us recognizing magic here and there. For whatever reason, I received an especially strong application of that genetic tendency.

I joke often with friends about House Elf activity. I'm sure you've either heard of it, or you've experienced it. You know....your car keys mysteriously disappear and are eventually discovered in some absolutely bizarre, unexpected location that you swear up and down you were not responsible for. Socks disappear in the dryer on a regular basis. Pretty, shiny things like rings, watches, earrings and cell phones, or important things like wallets also unexpectedly disappear for weeks at a time, only to surface, out of the blue right slap in the middle of the livingroom carpet that you just finished vaccuuming earlier the same day. No way on Earth could the jewelry items have escaped the relentless suction and rotating rollers of the vaccuum.

How, then, do they suddenly materialize in the very middle of the freshly cleaned carpet? If this sounds like first hand experience to you, you have a good eye...it is my first hand experience and yes, that has happened to me, jewelry, vaccuum and all, quite recently. What causes this? I have an answer for you. It's Elf Activity. Again, no, I'm not kidding. You don't see any exclamation point on the "not kidding" part because I'm serious! Okay, that last did require an exclamation point, just for a little extra emphasis, but I'm still not kidding.

This has happened to me throughout my life, the mysterious disappearing items, quite often of the shiny, sparkly variety and then the equally mysterious reappearance of those items in unlikely locations. I suspect it is the Wee Folk. Do I feel this to be true because I'm of predominantly Irish descent? It might be a factor. There is also Native American Indian heritage, Cherokee, in my family tree. Those are two very strong, mystical races who believe(d) in the natural cycles of Mother Earth, respecte(d) the Four Elements of Earth, Fire, Water and Air, and also believe(d) in the presence of magical beings. The Irish call them the Wee Folk. "The Cherokee call them Nunne hi (forgive me for not being able to place the proper diacritic pronunciation marks on that word - blogspot word processing tools do not accomodate that at this time), or the 'immortals', and believed they lived near running water sources"...springs, waterfalls, rivers and lakes. (The Folklore of Faeries, Gary R. Varner, AuthorsDen)

I live in East Tennessee, which is graced with endless fresh, fast running water sources. Much of the geological makeup of this area is sandstone and limestone, which not only provide a purification process for water as it trickles through the sediment and layers of the aquifers, but also harbor quartz rock crystal. Quartz crystal, my friends, is a conductor of energy. It is scientifically proven to have a measurable electrical signal of very precise frequency (Wikipedia), which is why it is commonly used to regulate clocks and wristwatches.

Can you tell I've given this topic a lot of thought? Why did the Native Americans believe that the Nunne hi inhabited the land surrounding fast running, fresh water sources? Why did the subsequent Irish immigrants who came and settled this area also believe that the Wee Folk were in evidence here? Could it be possible that back then, when there were no machines to mask sounds or deaden our natural senses, that Native Man and other races who respected the Old Ways might have been more in tune with the cycles of Nature than we are able to achieve today? Could it be that the surrounding geological makeup of certain regions provide(d) a frequency that, perhaps, thinned the doorway between dimensions and allowed those with certain sensitivity to "see" these beings? In olden days, this ability was called having "The Sight" in the Smoky Mountains and in the Old Country - in this case, Ireland.

These are just my own ruminations on the topic. I can't prove any of it, but I do see some connecting points in my theory and in many of the ones I have researched over the years. I know that I have regularly experienced those odd moments of personal items disappearing and reappearing that convince me there is more afoot than my modern age eyes and senses can quite grasp. So, in my own unique way, I choose to be open to the possibility that the Wee Folk exist. When something disappears in my home, I've learned to be patient, maybe have a lighthearted conversation or two with the Invisible Ones who may be using that item for a bit, and eventually it will reappear in one of those random, unlikely locations. The occurrences are so extremely odd that it tickles my sense of humor to no end.

When I lived in a different apartment about 6 years ago, I had a platinum ring that I wore daily. One afternoon I took it off, as I did nightly, and placed it in the little crystal bowl that held the few pieces of jewelry I wear daily. That crystal bowl was in my bedroom, on an antique buffet that doubled as a chest of drawers. The next morning that particular platinum ring was missing. I looked high and low, scoured the area around the chest where the crystal bowl sat, retraced my steps, searched the clothes I had worn the prior day, even searched my car and the walkway leading to my front door. The ring was nowhere to be found.

I acceded to my invisible roommates and stopped searching for the ring, letting them know they were welcome to wear it, admire it, play with it, do whatever they liked and that I looked forward to having it returned when they were finished with it. You may be reading this and thinking that I am a bit more than eccentric. If so, that's okay. You probably have some habits that I would find curious and that you'd probably not be so bold as to write about in public forum; that's what makes us all unique and beautiful.

Getting back to my story about this platinum ring, when I began packing to move from that particular apartment, one afternoon I moved a bar stool from a corner where it had been placed and not moved since the day I moved into that unit. I had never sat in that bar stool, had never placed anything there, nor had anyone else. It occupied an awkward spot in the dining room that made it impossible to sit comfortably, so that bar stool just filled that corner, untouched and unmoved. That day I pulled it out and sneezed from the resulting cloud of dust (okay, I said it sat there, untouched & unmoved...I'm not that vigilant about dusting unused furniture). I lifted the stool to carry it to another spot and saw a sparkle on the cushion.

You guessed it....right slap in the center of the bar stool seat cushion was my long lost platinum ring. Remember, please, that I said that barstool was placed in that awkward spot the day I moved into that apartment and then wasn't shifted a single inch until 2 years later when I was preparing to move - there was no logical explanation for how that ring could have found its way to that spot on its own. I know I didn't place it there. In fact, the day I moved into that apartment, I had yet to purchase that platinum ring so it couldn't have been misplaced there during the moving in process.

This little scenario has played itself out over and over throughout my lifetime with various shiny, sparkly items. I can only surmise that the Wee Folk who now have drifted into our personal living space become bored within the confines of an apartment environment and seek to entertain themselves with something pretty. I have rarely "lost" something of this nature permanently. Indeed, I find that as long as I acknowledge the item is merely being borrowed and graciously encourage the enjoyment of the borrowing, the item generally reappears fairly soon. The entertaining, often delightful part of the process is the humor that is employed in the reappearance of these items. They're crafty, the Wee Folk, with how they return things, choosing the most intriguing, exasperating and unexpected moments and locations to drop the item back into my dimension.

Because I see this as a strong possibility and because I firmly believe in the existence and truth of other mystical beings and magical occurrences, I find that I exude a lightness of Spirit that is attractive to others. Perhaps they recognize the simple joy that springs from embracing concepts that we most often abandon with childhood years. Possibly they appreciate that I am willfully, unabashedly and without shame, declaring that magic does exist. It is certainly a bold statement to make and many will read this and shake their heads in dismay that I, a serious writer, would choose to embrace such concepts, not to mention write about them in public forum.

I have to throw my two cents in here and tell you that yes, I am a serious writer, but that serious respect for my craft does not prohibit me from expressing, in writing, the beauty that I see in the possibility of magic still existing. In fact, I feel it demands that I write certain truths, be they delightful, mystical and magical, or more prosaic, occasionally uncomfortable topics such as grief managment, or droll ones such as the refusal to follow accepted rules of writing. My writing style changes with my moods and today, I felt like giving voice to my mystical, spiritual, Story Teller side.

In the forgotten mists of time, we were a different people. We moved with the seasons, respected the land, embraced the cycles of Nature and, I believe, had much clearer vision to see the realms and dimensions that we are now, sadly, nearly blind and numb to. A few of us, however, retain some small divining spark that allows us to still sense tiny indications of magic. Some of us notice what others claim as common forgetfulness and/or being careless with possessions to actually be the proof that mystical beings and magic are still afoot.

This topic was prompted by a recent conversation with a girlfriend in social media format that gave me "fizzies" (happy, warm, bubbly inside-ness) in abundance, as we went on a virtual visit of the Emerald City and took a detour to an enchanted dragon cave. It was a delightful bit of whimsy designed to lift this friend's spirits as she approaches a small hurdle along her Life Path, but it also was a conscious, intentional nod from my inner Spirit to hers, recognizing that yes, magic does exist, still, in both of us. In that moment, merely having that lovely conversation carried the spark of magic strongly enough to make us both smile, not just that evening, but in my case, well into the following day. This topic was also prompted by another friend, this time male, who is forever being visited and teased by his particular troop of House Elves - they like his keys, his cell phone, and most recently, his wallet. This friend recognizes the enchanted part of my Spirit and allows me to speak freely of magic and mystical possibilities. The two occurrences, with both friends, spaced so closely together in time, nudged me just enough to sit down and tap out these words.

Magic, these days, is an elusive element. It slips teasingly just beyond our fingertips, most often eluding our grasp, wafting lazily beyond reach to lure us forward, to continue searching...to continue dreaming...to continue BELIEVING. I do not feel the beliefs I espouse here in this blog article are in direct contradiction of my faith in God/Universe/Spirit. I believe that magic and mystical beings are an intrinsic part of the makeup of this beautiful Earth that houses us all, and that all of these things that are seen and not seen with human eyes are all Divinely created. Magic, and mystical things, therefore, although elusive, are all around us, waiting for us to consciously, willfully, joyfully, simply believe. That is when they sparkle most brightly, you know, and when they just might pay you a visit and borrow something pretty. If you welcome that magic and that touch of the mystical with a smile and an open heart, you just might find yourself engaging in sometimes comical, occasionally exasperating, often delightful treasure hunts. The purpose of having mystical roommates these days, I believe, is simply another friendly reminder to us that, just maybe...magic is afoot.

Simply believe...and be joyous!

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me at Healing Morning blog

"Spiritual Battles..."

Have you ever begun a new project – particularly one that you sincerely hope will be of service or joy to others – only to be met with some sort of obstacle or negative energy?

I've actually experienced this several times throughout my life, and you would think by now that I would be tuned in to when I've let this enemy slip into my daily efforts and thoughts. I pose this problem as a person, because I firmly believe that he – "Satan," "the evil one," "the devil," "Beelzebub," "negative energy," "the dark force," (whatever you want to call it) – really exists, and in order to recognize and defend ourselves from the enemy, we must put a name to it and face it.

Surprisingly, it didn't occur to me until just this morning that my husband and I were facing this kind of “spiritual warfare” yet again. The devil has attempted numerous times to infiltrate our lives as a loving couple and tight-knit family unit. “Attacks” might seem like an extreme word to those who aren't familiar with wht the sneaky and furtive tactics of the devil can really mean, but I firmly believe that this is how he operates. Unless you are constantly on guard, feeding and nurturing the garden of your own faith, before you know it he has slipped into your life - interjecting negativity, hopelessness, anger and hatred into situations where you normally would stand strong in clear and proper judgment.

That's how he works. Personally, I don't believe the devil brings down plagues, earth-quakes, financial ruin or death. Because God has given us the gift of free will, the ability to make our own choices and decisions in dealing with what life hands us, we unfortunately have the ability to choose unwisely. And that's just what the “devil” is pushing us to do. While he probably didn't cause us to loose our job, wreck the car, or put someone else in a bad mood, he does try to “push the buttons” that cause us to react to these moments with negativity and without love. Then, he tries to keep us there – mired in the darkness of self-pity, doubt, fear, and hatred – away from the light and grace of love, peace and Joy.

I've previously written that our family has experienced some major hardships this past year. In a nutshell, over the last week our situation has continued and become worse. I admit this to you only to support and explain my recent absence from the page; it truly has become a battle for me and my family, and I apologize. While I can't read the future and still don't have all the answers, I have made additional discoveries and insight into why I've reacted to recent situations the way I have, and why my family continues to suffer.

Over the last several years, I've found that I am getting really good at directing my anger towards dirt. I'm not sure if my boys have really figured this out yet, but when I've been hit with yet another piece of bad news or situation beyond my control, I start to clean. Rather than screaming, I try very hard to just “get mad at the dirt,” and go around the house taking care of items that may not have been tidied up in a while. Not only is this kind of simple work therapeutic, I've realized it's one thing that I have “control” over. Usually after several minutes of vacuuming or dusting, my heart will start speaking to God, and I'll use that time to converse with Him about how I'm feeling.

My house is very tidy at the moment.

However, I've (we've) been bombarded with so much lately, that the cleaning hasn't totally eased the unrest and nervousness within my soul, and I let myself slip into a bit of depression. I literally haven't been able to focus, let alone write about anything “positive.”

It's become obvious to me that I've let Satan enter into these moments, and have let my “guard” down. We all used to come together pretty frequently for family prayer – particularly when we'd had disagreements or were concerned for other family members, etc. We also took time to give thanks for the joys and blessings we received.

You see, the devil doesn't want us to spend time in God's presence. When we choose to give thanks in all things, when we choose to focus on love and what's right in the world, Satan has no entry. It can be so easy to let ourselves slip into despair and apathy – we've all experienced these moments – after all, we're only human.

Upon the celebration of Ash Wednesday last week, our family signed up to participate in several activities during the Lenten season, designed to strengthen our devotion and faith during this time of preparation before Easter. Because of recent events, our desire to take part in anything has been very low, to say the least. Being very active in our faith community, we've encountered the devil's obstacles and attacks each time we've begun a service project or joined in any kind of activity meant to increase and strengthen our faith in God. I now see that Satan has tried to use this opportunity to break us, and keep us from fully experiencing God's love and mercy.

My positive message today? I'm not going to let it happen - I won't let Satan win. I'm not saying it's going to be a piece of cake, but it's possible. Life can and must continue. I can choose to continue to see God's Blessings around me each and every day.

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase."
 ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Even amidst great tragedy, we can continue putting one foot in front of the other, day-by-day, week-by-week, year-by-year. By doing so life brightens before us, most times without us even realizing it. I was struck by a report on the early news this morning as I got ready to head out to work. Joannie Rochette, an Olympic figure-skater for Canada (their national champion as a matter of fact), found out only 2 days ago that her mother had died of a massive heart attack after arriving in Vancouver. This young lady has made the courageous decision to compete tonight, in spite of her tragedy and loss, knowing that her mother had been her biggest fan and supporter. It's not just a matter of willpower (although it helps). We have to continually practice trusting in God – His light is there to surround each step of our difficult journeys – all we have to do is ask Him to join us. We can find Joy in the fact that he will never leave us.

Though our options might not always seem clear, we always have a choice. Sometimes it seems so much easier to take the easy way out, by not doing "anything." Letting things be while we sit and stew about what we've done wrong, or who's wronged us, or the blows that life has dealt us won't carry us forward. While a good cry, cleaning the house from top to bottom, or maybe pounding out our frustrations on a construction project will help release the tension and stress we're feeling, eventually, we must continue on.

We can always find light and love in moving forward. By allowing Satan and his negative forces to creep in, we are slated to remain in the dark.

Asking the angels, saints, and those that I love to pray for me, I will strive to continue to live as though each day were my last. Surrounded by that much love, how can I go wrong?

Oh, and something else the devil doesn't like?

Paying it forward.

Pay it forward – spread a smile!

Image courtesy of Google Images.
(Posted today at: A Dose of Positivity)