Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Visitation at Shaker Village: Angel or?

A Visitation at Shaker Village.

It happened about ten years ago now. My wife and I were visiting Shaker town with friends. We had left the restaurant and headed toward the Gift Shop to the right. I decided I would ret in the shade on an August day with a breeze of September in the air. There was a bench no longer there and a tree. I would wait while my friends visited the Gift Shop[.

Suddenly to my right a few feet away appeared a little girl, age I would guess about five, dark hair, dark eyes. She looked at me and announced: “I can walk in a circle!” Surprised I decided to play a teasing game with her. “On, no,” I replied, “You can’t walk in a CIRCLE. “Yes I can!”” she replied. “No, You are too little!” I continued. “But I can,” she insisted. “No, you can’t,” I said, “You are not old enough.” “Yes. I can,” she insisted.

Finally, I said, “Show me.” to my surprise once more, she raised herself to her full height, looked me in the eye and said: “Why should I?”

Oh God, I said to myself, I am in the presence of the Eternal Feminine. After my teasing her, here she was, teasing me back. How utterly delightful After a moment I said “Pulease?”

She proceeded to walk in a circle. By this time we had been together for several minutes and I wondered where her parents were, possibly looking out a window of the restaurant we were next to, but no sign of them. I of course, with nothing else to do and this precious little girl willing to entertain me, decided to continue the playful teasing. I bet you can’t walk in a square. Yes I can. No you can’t. Yes I can. We went through the whole rigamarole again. When finally I said Show me. She said Why should I, I said Please. So she showed me.

Next we went to a triangle with the whole similar teasing dialogue once more. Again, after my teasing here, I had to beg her to show me. My geometry was exhausted.

As we finished our third round of play, my wife and friends came out of the Gift Shop and indicated to me they were ready to continue their walk to see the Village. “I have to go now,” I said to my little mistress, reluctantly, as I had enjoyed the experience at least as much as she, maybe more.

“No!” she shouted. And then repeated “NO, you can’t leave.!”We had both become entranced with the little game we were playing .

What was I to do? I had guests. Where were the parents of this precious little girl? In hindsight, I wish I had offered to take her to them or to meet them. Feeling pulled from both sides, I thought of a way to leave her with something else to do with her imagination?

“Do you believe in angels?” I asked my little angel.

“Yes,” she responded, without delay. “Then come here and sit on this bench and I will tell you a secred. “If you sit here and sit very quietly you can hear the angels sing.” By the way, angels are a part of my own belief system since Catholic grade school.

She readily complied, sat on the bench ansd closed her eyes. Reluctantly I turned to join my friends. Turning back to glance over my shoulder, I saw her sitting quietly on the bench with her eyes closed, in some listening repose. I never saw her again.

I was so impressed with this experience I talked about it and even wrote about it. I cannot now find that writing. I have a vague memory that her name was “Ariel,” but I do not remember her telling me that.

I have wondered since what she remembered of our playful exchange, that one day when an aging balding man was entertained by a little angel. At the end I thought to introduce her to the angels, not realizing I had just perhaps been visited by one.

My wife told me later than she would not have believed my story, except that she saw the little girl. For me, it was a visitation, unexpected, serendipitously, a mysterious exchange on a late summer day with old man willing to be present to the moment of whatever with a like minded child.

To this day, I wonder where her parents were, or if she had any parents. I wish I had taken her to her parents and praised her smartness. I am sure she was and is gifted wherever she is. I can easily imagine her delighting many others with her “tricks.”

That visitation to me may help explain why I am in love with my encore career of Spellbinder storytelling in Lexington, now in my 5th year . I love being with children and telling stories.

Paschal Baute
Lexington Spellbinder
(858) 19305302


Post a Comment

<< Home