A world full of messages

I once channeled a message from an abandoned home. (I say “channeled” because there really aren’t many words to describe what it is I actually do, and this seems to be the closest one available.)

I was on a walk one early spring day with my infant son bundled in his stroller. At the time I was still adjusting to motherhood and all the traumatic (to me) changes it brought to my life. I came upon the house and stopped dead in my tracks. The silent sobs I had been holding back for weeks threatened to erupt as I saw the forgotten shell of wood and shingle, windows mostly intact but darkened and shadowy.

“I know how you feel,” I said to her in silence.

To my surprise she answered back—and to my even greater surprise, I realized I had gotten her all wrong.

“I’m not sad, I am grateful,” she said. “I have silence. Peace. Rest. Time to reflect on the years I was Home to a busy family, housing all of their struggles and joys. I rest now, knowing that this time will be far too short before it all begins again. And when it does, I will be grateful for that too.”

That was a decade ago, but I still think about it every time I pass this house. It wasn’t the first time that an inanimate object had spoken to me, and of course it was far from the last. It’s just what I do. I am a messenger, and anyone or anything with a message to share is heard by me, felt by me. It’s what I do.

But it was the first time I realized I had gotten it wrong. Until that point I think I just assumed that whatever I hear from the world around me is just my imagination. This house told me that no, it isn’t. That even when I am imagining what a thing feels or wants or needs, that thing has a life of its own and will correct me if need be. It cannot be created nor changed in my imagination. It exists unto itself.

Honestly, I don’t know why the hell I’m able to do this. This “gift” of mine, what does it mean? I don’t know. I just listen, and sometimes I share. That's all we can do with what we're given — to use it and share it and hope it lights the way home.