Last night, when I wandered outside with camera in hand, the only thought in my mind was taking pictures of the full Moon rising.
I love the Night. I love how the deep shadows soften the edges; how, even under the bright lights from the street lamps, those shadows know secrets, hidden from my questioning eyes.
And when the Moon is full and casting its impossibly bright, brilliant light upon Mother Earth...at this time of year, the Veil is thin between Worlds.
All Hallow's Eve...a seasonal time when good and evil Spirits both, visit from other planes. Perhaps they seek reassurance of their loved ones' welfare...the ones left behind when Death came for them. Perhaps they visit for nefarious purposes. Perhaps they are just curious. Nonetheless...they're here.
I've read they like to play practical jokes on the Soul still having the Human experience.
I am aware , as I walk through the dark garden paths, of packets of Spirits...I walk through some of their Energy. I feel the joyful souls, the sad and mournful ones, the curious ones...and I welcome them all. There is not much energy with evil intent, here amidst the safety of my well-loved plants.
But, oh! It is so dark, way back behind Grandfather Tree, and in front of Cork Tree, ablaze, in the daylight, with golden leaves...but now, only a black bulk configured against the deep indigo of the Night Sky.
In Grandfather Tree's presence, I find it easy to seek the mellow reassurance he offers me...I know, without having to actually see, how to navigate around him. His branches tickle my cheek. The chimes tinkle, with the sudden soughing of Wind that whispers sibilant secrets to me...secrets only intended for my ears.
It is a quiet evening. In earlier years, fireworks would have lit up the Skies, frightening inhabitants with the sudden booming of a big Cracker sent up by the juvenile contingent. But now, bylaws have been passed against it, giving all pet owners a sense of relief. There will be those who will test the law; they have already made their presence known...but no longer do our dogs shiver and shake their way through the Hallowe'en season.
I am deep in thought, as my eyes adjust to the black Night. I imagine myself in the centre of the Secret Forest, where rarely any light intruded during the Night hours, and where silence was so total, it became a thing all to itself. I imagine myself walking along the soft Forest floor, littered with needles and leaves. The soft branches brushing my sleeve, the sticky Spider's Webs, their hostesses long gone, clinging to my hair, and the crackle of dry leaves underfoot...that old Forest is still alive, in my mind.
I am happy to visit, happy that I can still conjure up a place so dear to my heart, and I stay there in the stillness, my eyes closed, my breathing slow, feeling the soft vibrations of the energy imparted by Grandfather Tree, taking me on a journey into the past...
And then, a long mournful howl from the Malemute across the Way...another...he brings his sad longing for his North Country into my garden. Sudden tears prick my eyelids, and my heart follows his in his desperate song to the very full Moon.
He is a dog away from his place. Away from his Pack. He howls to the Moon, following the age-old plaintive Call of the Wild, hoping against hope a member of his Pack will answer...
The dog's painful lament ceases; there is a breathless silence once more.
And then...not ten feet away, my ears are split by a baby's sudden terrified cry. My heart stops; I grab a branch from Grandfather Tree to steady myself. The shriek suddenly ceases.
From the relative safety of Grandfather, I peer through the branches, hear the low moan and instantly recognize the voice of Cat. I see two eyes blazing into mine from a low over-hanging branch from Cork Tree.
We stare at each other for some time. I know Cat is pretending to be Lion in a medieval Forest, just as I imagine myself back in time.
The dogs' furious barking, as they round the corner of the house, intrudes upon our silent sharing of fantasies. I raise my camera...but too late. Only the dogs' barking and hysterical demeanours tell me I had a visitor at all.
I sense Grandfather Tree's mirth. And even if my heart is still pounding hard in my chest, I chuckle along as well.
As I wander back to the house, back to the Big Chair and the fireplace, back to safety... I consider the ramifications of meditations outside, deep in the dark of the Night.
And then, I remember the practical jokes Spirits like to play. I wonder...
The Veil is thin. Was I just the butt of a Spirit Jokester?