(Angel-Girl at five years old)
The world felt like it ended for me three years ago when my wife Shyheart was killed in a car accident. In that moment I truly wanted it to end so I could get to the afterlife and be with my soulmate and best friend. My life as a shamanic healer and spiritual teacher was put to the ultimate test. The waves of pain and horror from losing her have begun to lessen over time. Perhaps it’s because I have become really good at knowing what can distract me so that I’m not swimming around in sorrow. The list is short: writing, working with clients in my shamanic practice, and being with our special five-year-old daughter. Angel-Girl really doesn’t remember her mother. I envy her that in some strange way, but I know she feels her mother. That’s just who my daughter is, someone who feels deeply.
The sadness wave is definitely looming out there today on what would have been our twelfth wedding anniversary. I sit in my home office, watched over by the red rocks of Sedona, doing my best to distract myself by working on the weekly spiritual newsletter to my subscribers. The Danish teak desk I sit at always comforts me. There’s something about its organic quality that resonates with my soul. What a challenge it was all those years ago to give myself permission to spend the money on such a thing of beauty. It was a gift to myself on my twenty-fifth sobriety anniversary. But even that victory couldn’t immediately overcome some long-standing poverty consciousness. It took a few months to convince myself to buy it. But whenever my Angel-Girl sits coloring at the desk with me, the sadness doesn’t have a chance.
When I’m writing, my door always remains open in case Angel-Girl needs me. But if the door is closed, she knows I am on the phone with potential clients or doing a follow-up with my retreat clients and should not be interrupted unless it’s a super-emergency. It took her awhile to learn that having ketchup in her nose does not constitute such an emergency! My clients come on spiritual retreat because they want to move forward on their spiritual path and reconnect to their innate wisdom; they are stuck and want to create a breakthrough.
Since I’m writing today, the office door is open. Suddenly, I hear Angel-Girl’s excited voice call out “Daddy!” from her cozy bedroom across the hall with its dozens of stuffed animals and gallery of drawings. “Angel-Girl!” I call back. These shout-outs have become an ongoing routine with us. I love these moments and I think Angel-Girl does, too. Even though I can’t see her, I stop what I’m doing and turn my chair so I’m facing the door.
“Daddy, the Fairy-People are flying around my room again!”
“Cool!” I call across the hall. Because of the hardwood floors throughout the house, our voices carry easily.
“They are flying around my bed in a circle. There are seven of them! What do I do?”
“Well, first say hello to them,” I advise
“I did that already, Daddy, like you taught me!”
“Did they say hello back?”
“Yup! Together, they all said, ‘We greet you, Angel-Girl!’” Then she asks me with wonder and surprise, “But, Daddy, how do they know your special name for me?”
This is the big challenge when you have a daughter who is clairvoyant or “sees” – she asks tough questions! I look through the back window for a moment, gazing at an old juniper tree, which is the gateway to a winding magical trail into the mountains.
I reply, “You could ask them how they know.”
“Oh, okay.” Then I hear her whispering as if it’s important not to scare the Fairy- People, “How do you know my special name?”
There’s a pause, and then Angel-Girl calls out to me, “They said, ‘Everyone knows!’ Who is everyone?”
“You could ask them that too!”
“Okay.” Then I hear her put this question to the fairy-people in a soft, respectful voice. She listens for a moment and then in response she says, “Oh!” She reports to me, “They said, ‘All the Fairy-People know! All over the world. One knows, all know.’”
“One knows, all know! I like that!” I say.
She goes quiet for a long minute and I wonder what’s up. “You’re quiet over there.”
She calls back, distractedly, “They were giving me flying instructions.”
“Awesome! Is it hard?”
“The upside-down part looks fun!” she says, psyched. I chuckle to myself. She continues, “They are all flying upside down to show me how to do it. Once in a while they bump into one of the bears or my drawings of dinosaurs and then giggle! I’m getting dizzy.”
The bears are her stuffed animals. I think for a moment and wonder, Is she getting dizzy from watching the Fairy-People fly upside down or because she is flying clairvoyantly?
“Angel-Girl, are you flying around right now with them?”
She calls back, “I’m not flying yet. I am standing on my head in the middle of my bed to see them. But I keep falling. It’s a good thing I have pillows all around me. I told you buying more pillows was a good idea!” She has a thing about having lots of pillows. I finally got that they make her feel emotionally safe and protected when I am not around.
“Oh, okay,” I say. I turn my head upside down to feel what she’s feeling. Yup, you do get dizzy!
“My room looks much different upside down,” she tells me.
“Don’t know how to explain it. But do you think that’s why the Fairy-People fly upside down sometimes – to see stuff differently?”
My sweet daughter’s wisdom floors me and I sit very still for a moment, hardly breathing, and so deeply grateful for this sudden insight: to see stuff differently!
“Daddy, you there?”
“Always, my beautiful Angel!”
“When you go flying with your eagle-brother, do you run into the Fairy-People?”
“Do you mean like bump into them in the sky?”
“No, Daddy, don’t be silly! I mean like see them.”
I shake my head, thinking this is too complicated to explain but then the obvious occurs to me! The simple truth: “That’s a great question! No, I have never seen them when I am flying with my brother.”
“Well, keep your eye out for them when you are flying,” she adds solemnly.
“I will, that’s a good idea,” I assure her.
“Maybe you could fly upside down together. I know how important the Fairy-People are to your job. I wouldn’t want you to miss them.”
“No, I definitely wouldn’t want to miss them.” Three weeks ago a high-level executive encountered the Fairy-People on a sacred shamanic journey with me in the wilderness. She was here to deal with serious work alcoholic issues; she had barely taken a vacation in thirty years and the idea of “playing” was tantamount to a mortal sin. When she was suddenly surrounded and embraced by the Fairy-People and their playful, child-like energy, she began to cry and exclaimed, “Oh my God, I forgot what it felt like to play!”
There’s a long silence from Angel-Girl’s room, and then she says, “Daddy, they are sprinkling the fairy dust like they did before. It’s really pretty.” Then, she adds awestruck, “It’s gold! They are putting it over the cover to my bed, the one with the little bears on it. And some over Mommy’s picture.”
I smile deeply, knowing how special it is for the Fairy-People to honor my daughter with this blessing again.
I tell her, “It means they like you very, very much.”
“I like them too – a lot!” After a long moment, I hear her whisper, “Okay, I will tell him...Daddy?”
“That’s me!” Another one of our routines
With deep seriousness, she says, “They all stopped flying and told me to tell you that you are their brother, and their hearts are full. You honor them. One knows, all know.”
A rush of emotion fills my eyes with tears. I’m reminded again of who I am and the deep honor I feel for the gifts I was given to be able to see and feel life forces beyond this world and to help people. I try my best to get the words out through the tears and say with bowed head in deep respect, “A Ho, my brothers and sisters of the Fairy-People, A Ho.” Following the Native American tradition, we say “A Ho” when we have no words to describe the depth of our feelings.
I hear Angel-Girl’s proud little voice, “They said, ‘A Ho,’ my Daddy."
Like I said, brothers and sisters, sometimes the sadness doesn’t have a chance!
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