Ah Mysteries!

Well, don’t anyone try to convince me there’s not life after life. I’ve had too many experiences to believe in the silence of dark mouldering eternal sleep. The world is too full of life—and mystery. And by the way, of LAUGHTER! At one level it’s all laughter!

My first cousin died recently. On the Saturday morning before I had heard of his death, I found myself staring at the books in my bookcase, reached out and plucked a book I hadn’t noticed before. “Where did this come from?” I thought, regarding a volume of Italian short stories, in Italian, printed in 1999. . . .and then from the pages fell a yellowed invoice of long ago, with handwriting in faded ink. . . revealing something bought for $5.00. The name at the top was that of my Uncle, and there was his address in Cumberland, Maryland–except he had died decades earlier, long before this book was printed. And where did the book come from anyway, not to mention the invoice?

A few hours later, the phone call came through saying that Bill, his son and my first cousin, had died. Was my uncle waiting for him on the Other Side? Was this a message to me, to be forewarned? To rejoice?

At the funeral, I told Bill’s wife the story, and she laughed. “That’s nothing!” she cried. “The night he died we were woken up all night long with the smoke alarms going off, one by one. It was just like him!” (Oh, funerals are so much fun!)

We all agreed he was probably at there with us, having a grand time and filled with pride as he watched his handsome sons memorialize him.

And while on the subject of Mysteries and Strange Protectors, here’s another one, told in a news clipping by Louise Hick of Durham, N.C. I don’t know when it happened, but I found the clipping (also mysteriously) among some old papers where it didn’t belong.

It was after midnight when the young girl (Louise?) caught the bus at the end of her shift at the bakery. Nobody else was on the bus. She took a seat toward the back.

“Mind if I open the window?” she asked.

“Go right ahead, Miss,” said the driver. “Maybe the breeze will give me a peek at your pretty legs.”

As if that weren’t enough to raise her hackles, the driver then announced, “Know what? I’m going to take you for a little ride!”

He veered off the usual route and pulled into a dark country churchyard. She was terrified. Lord, help me please, she prayed.

The driver turned off the ignition, removed the keys, and rose to move toward her, when suddenly there was a knock on the door.

Cursing, he stomped back to the front, and switched on the lights. An elderly white-haired couple got on.

“Had some engine trouble,” the driver lied. “We’ll be on our way now.”

The couple took two seats across the aisle from the trembling young woman, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to board a bus in a churchyard after midnight.

The driver resumed his regular route. At the next stop as several people got on, Louise jumped off, but not before turning to look back at the elderly couple. Apart from the few people entering at the front, there were no passengers on the bus.

Now what in the world are we to make of things like that? And how is it that in novels or even nonfiction (too often in our own lives) we don’t notice that gifts are raining on us all the time.  Apart from “Jane Eyre,” which was written in the 19th century, after all, when people were more attuned to intuition, the spiritual, mysterious Voices and coincidences, I hardly know a single novel where the spiritual plays any part (except, of course, for ghost stories–it’s all right to read or write about the dark side). In modern novels the characters never enter a church or synagogue, wouldn’t dream of praying, don’t even seem to be aware of anything beyond the material and their own self-reliance. (This may be why my forthcoming novel, “Love, Alba,” where Alba, the cat, sees into realities that evade the 2-leggeds whom she loves, had such a hard time being published.  But more about that another time.)

Meanwhile, let us share our stories: when was the last time something wondrous, delightful and unexpected landed in your lap.  We all need to remember the Rules of the Universe: It’s not that nothing bad will ever happen in our lives; it’s that when it does, we’re not alone.

or this one:  Gifts are poured upon us all the time. Do you notice and remember to say thank you? The more you give thanks, the more wonders happen to you.

and this one: Sometimes “No” is God’s way of saving us from something frightful. Give thanks. Always and everywhere give thanks. 

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11 thoughts on “Ah Mysteries!

      • Dear Sophy,
        This winter-into-spring requires such remembrances as your gift always brings to our love-starved, weary souls. . . . Thank you.

        I keep copies of all your yes-wisdom pieces. My forgotten memories of crucial coincidences that you share from your experiences are then reiterated into mine. This, again & again- reminds me to be both thankful and hopeful.

        Your friend on the River of Time,
        June Rose

      • Then share yours, too. I need the stories, too. If you want you can post right on my site, and if you want to keep them private, just email to me alone, and I won’t use them to tell to others (unless you tell me I can). I need more myself. You’d think after a certain age, or after many experiences that you wouldn’t need the reminders, but that’s not the way the world works: we have to pass the honey of sustenance around and around and around, keeping it in circulation.

      • The reason I need it RIGHT NOW is that I have been driving for 2 hours to get home in what should have taken no more than 30 minutes, and I’m tired and thirsty and irritated by too much traffic! (as if everyone else on the road isn’t feeling just the same thing!)

      • Dear Sophy, How true it is: the honey we all need as food for the soul is limitless. I just said hello to my 75th year; and I am finding more need to hear and express the presence of goodness buried, but available through our language of LOVE. You speak for many. I would love to be in touch and share this time of life. We are being given a treasure house!
        Thank you SO much for responding –
        June Rose

  1. I had a friend die recently. On the day she died I was passing a card store and the words on a card in the window seemed to leap out at me. “I just died!” the card said… (Now that was an odd card). When I read it I thought that it was a direct message from my friend, who had been in a coma for two days. I inwardly said..”Oh, you sound so excited, I’m happy for you!”
    I did walk up to the card to see what the rest of the card said, and it was a valentine’s card that continued.. “In your arms last night.” Still an odd card.
    When I got home my friend’s husband wrote to say that my friend had died the moment that I saw the card in the window. What a lovely message it was, and appropriate for my friend who loved sending greeting cards.

  2. Loved these stories! Thank you so much.

    Reminded me of a time when I was very low and driving down a lonesome highway. A huge, old-model car appeared in front of me with the license plate “JOY 2 U.” I pulled alongside to see the driver: an older woman with short hair, crazy sunglasses, smiling and exuding light. I passed her, laughing, lightened, and looked back towards her in my mirror, but she was gone. The huge car and its merry passenger had vanished. These kinds of things have always happened to me, so I was left more grateful than stunned. Now, all these years later, I’m the older woman in crazy sunglasses, and every time I think of my funky angel, her memory still fills me with light.

    As you say, All is Gift.

    Gentle Peace.

  3. Loved these stories! Thank you so much.

    Reminded me of a time when I was very low and driving down a lonesome highway. A huge, old-model car appeared in front of me with the license plate “JOY 2 U.” I pulled alongside to see the driver: an older woman with short hair, crazy sunglasses, smiling and exuding light. I passed her, laughing, lightened, and looked back towards her in my mirror, but she was gone. The huge car and its merry passenger had vanished. These kinds of things have always happened to me, so I was left more grateful than stunned. Now, all these years later, I’m the older woman in crazy sunglasses, and every time I think of my funky angel, her memory still fills me with light.

    As you say, All is Gift.

    Gentle Peace.

  4. Very observant. At one time I had a cat named Sophie, meaning wisdom, for she had a high IQ and could outthink any human. When she crossed the rainbow bridge it was so hard. How I remembered Sophie sitting in the azalea bush she loved so much. Then the azaleas bloomed. In November.

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