December 8, 2009

Ghost In The Bottle

The rickety steps trembled as I swung open the back door of the dilapidated farmhouse.
There was no warning! The chunk of two-by-four appeared out of nowhere and split my chin. It was not the first time the old farmhouse had attacked me.

Once a proud weekend retreat for the family, the house and owners had fallen on unfortunate times… and some parts had fallen farther than the rest. I watched the front porch mysteriously collapse one day. When I came to, I was part of the rubble.
I had been trying to remove the deteriorated parts to see how much structure, if any, could be saved. The house seemed to resent my interest in it.

It had long ago been the home of Aunt Belle, an old wise woman reputed to have a fortune buried on her property. Someone had suggested Aunt Belle thought I was demolishing her home… and she had hit me with a board a couple times to make me stop.
They suggested I should have a conversation with Aunt Belle to make my intentions clear. I might possibly even enlist her help in saving the old edifice.

The moon was full the night I crept into the spooky farmhouse in the middle of the night to beseech Aunt Belle. I told her that if she would guide me to some of her buried treasure… I would either restore her home or make sure she always had a home, even if I had to let her share mine.
The next day I was impelled, for no particular reason, to dig in a spot I had not dug before. I had begun to wonder if it was Aunt Belle guiding me when my shovel touched something solid in the soft earth.

In an obscure corner of my home, there is an antique bottle with some of the original earth from the farm still inside. It occasionally also houses feathers from some special birds.
I couldn’t save Aunt Belle’s home… but the bottle reminds me she lives with me forever.

I haven’t had the bottle appraised. It doesn’t matter if it is a valuable antique… the memory it contains now is already priceless.
If it is worthless, so will be my story… so I don’t want to know!

No comments: