THE UNEARTHLY

Under a blood-burning red sky, I went out to take the air. The North Wind blew in my face and cast my hair West as I turned the corner. Down the gravel pathway, I opened the gate guarded by a dog with each of his three mouths barking.
Had he seen me? Had he heard me?
Watching the dog, I closed the gate and respectfully made my way past the shaped stone masonry. All those forgotten names remembered forever. I took my place, lying down between the bouquets of flowers, at home at last.
I was at peace after the disturbing realities of venturing into town. I had been trapped in the supermarket, unable to leave until another person walked up to the door, and the camera saw and released the door. The camera never saw me.
Staring up at the broken sky, I stretched out my hands, stroking each blade of weathered grass separately, uniquely, treasuring each one, acknowledging, appreciating each one.
“Oh sorry, I didn’t see you there,” the woman had said. My hands were white, pressed against the door she had closed on me. By accident. It’s always by accident. But it still hurts. Every time.
Ravens tiptoed around me, walking on the broken egg shells of what was to come.
A wail. A familiar wail on the breeze. I got to my feet and looked up to the cliff on the North shore. I know what I saw. I know what I saw.
I climbed that hill.
He turned around and smiled at me. He winked and turned back into the wind; the angel playing bagpipes.
Down on the beach, I looked back at him high up on the cliff edge, playing into the wind, heard only by the unearthly.

I wrote this piece two years ago on the advice that I should write about what I see, for example when I go out for a walk. So I noted what I saw when I went for a walk on Lindisfarne and my spiritual side added a little bit more to bookend two real experiences I have had. As someone who has had a lot of near-death experiences, people not seeing me at all when I am standing in front of them, or automatic doors not opening for me, is something that does make one think. Freaky eh?!
The reference to the angel playing bagpipes into the wind to be heard only by spiritual beings is a reference to a practice of Celtic Christianity. It is advised if a Celt has a lot of stuff on their mind, they should shout prayers into the wind – shouting gets it all out, and into the wind so that only God can hear.

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About catherinehume

Catherine Hume: Writer, social care worker and a liver of a life less ordinary.
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