Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Feeling In The Air

Pocahontas Cemetery.
Photo credit:
While the weather is still seasonal here in the mountains-that is to say that the days are sweater-worthy and the nights cause the proverbial "frost on the pumpkin", I sit in the gazebo with a cup of hot tea late at night in stillness. This little mining town is a different place after the sun goes down and the sidewalks roll up: Like all places that have know hardship and hard times, that has been visited by suffering, there is an air of bitter sweetness that haunts the night. On one of our frequently foggy evenings, I caught a glimpse of the shadows of someone leading a mule down Center Street not long after I moved here. Their forms were solidly discernible in contrast to the mist. I am quite certain it was an apparition that had come out of the many spiritual portals I suspect exists here. About a week later I learned that there is a brace of stables used when the coal mine was in operation around the corner I saw them turn just before they disappeared: I found the buildings which are currently used for storage on an evening stroll. In 1884, there was a huge explosion in the mine that killed over a hundred men, women and children. Most of the victims are buried in the cemetery just outside of town-many in a mass grave. Their spirits are palpable to me much of the time.

Tonight, there is the spirit of another, however. It is not human: a child of Cernunnos ambles down from the mountain, his hooves barely audible on the brick street. His rack of antlers is small, but his long legs give him an air of elegance as he reaches up into the branches of the apple tree just beyond the parking lot of my new home. As he pulls a piece of fruit free, many more apples rain down on him. He continues to graze and consumes several of the small but succulent fruits. When he is satisfied, he disappears silently into the darkness, leaving me feeling that I have been extraordinarily blessed by Nature to have shared this moment.

As night grows longer, there is only the sound of locusts, but there is a vibration, a thrumming as the Veil thins around me in this place. I know those who have lost their lives or lived in this town will be returning as soon as that thinning is complete and they are able to cross to walk among the living for a short while. So much of the history of this place is connected to Death; yet I wonder if the appearance of the deer isn't a subtle sign that despite this, the annual cycle of Life is very much still continuing amid the decaying buildings.
It seems to me that we focus so much on the past that we forget that how we live here now will be the history of tomorrow. So many of us are waiting for this place to draw it's last breath that I wonder if they have forgotten that a sudden breath of air might be all it needs to live.


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