A Blessing for my House.
There are ghosts in my house tonight. I feel them in places where they once stood. I remember them standing in places where I’ll stand no more. A flash and laughter
“Quick! Re arrange! Change places. Smile everybody.”
“Who’s not here?”
“She’s at the toilet again.”
“Mu-uum.” We call. Raucous laughter erupts. I swoop down on one of the many lost tissues and hold it up high,
“This’ll do…take the picture before someone else disappears.” And so the picture stands a silent but colourful testament to a moment in all our lives so long ago.
Yes, there are ghosts in my house tonight.
They’re seated about the table that is no longer there. Cutlery clanks and everyone talks at once. We all fit in - with elbows tucked in properly as we were taught but are forced to do for lack of space. Eyes shine and tall tales are told. Babies cry and then grow up and are seen by fewer eyes.
They’re standing jostling in the doorways, gently buffeted by the many breezes which circulate forever throughout the house’s internal tracks. They’re patting little heads which fly past playing a myriad of games from ages gone. Their eyes are filled with love, and not a little devilment at the goings on that are still happening in some time and place I can no longer see or fully remember.
And sometimes the eyes are filled with longing and sadness, which I am beginning to understand, but cannot change. For that I am always regretful, but hope it is resolving in them and me. For soon I too will no longer stand in doorways which show things which are so familiar that I no longer think to wonder at but know like my own hands.
There have been ghosts in my dreams of late. Dreams teeming with people and faces from my life and theirs. I look at them and wonder why it’s been so long and then I wake and know the reason why.
Yes, there have been ghosts in my dreams of late. I even smell their smell and when I touch their faces I feel that touch. I hugged my mother last night, and felt the shape of her against the inside of my arms, and wondered in my dream why I hadn’t hugged her for such a long time, feeling regret at my neglect. Then I woke and knew the reason why.
Soon I’ll be the ghost in this house of mine. Was it ever mine at all or did I just pass through like all the rest who loved it? My daughters said I made them laugh when I was angry because they could tell by the way I walked. My heavy barefoot tread bumped all through the rooms in joy or anger, but they could tell the difference. I am glad it made them laugh. But I sure hope that some poor bloody kid in times to come is spared the sound of my tread, in the dead of night, for it would have to cause them terror, even though its source was anything but terrifying.
Soon I may stand at the side of my house on the white timber ramp and if I see those three white birds fly over as I did in a dream so long ago it will seem so right. But if it doesn’t happen then it won’t worry me much at all. For I know that my dreams are real - sometimes a slip in time, sometimes a parting of the curtains into body, mind or spirit, and sometimes, its just something that I ate or drank!
Yes, let there be ghosts in this house of mine. Ghosts that gently guard the children in their dreams. Ghosts that have compassion for those who suffer fears and imaginings, and see no light. For we’ve all been there and no doubt will be again, and I wish upon the occupants of this house, a kind dwelling. Let any ghosts guard and light the corners that may be filled with the darkness of our misunderstandings.
Let the ghosts of my house be guardian angels so that it easily rocks with laughter, and pulls people together inside its centre, because they want to be together. Let it let go gently of all who dwell in its many pathways and hopefully grant me and mine that same small mercy. For as much as I am looking outwards and into my future, I know inside me that the parting will be harder than I imagine.
I will leave it to the children to come and hope it holds them as safe and gently as it did my own.