“I’m in a haunted place, and every day is a new one.”
This quote is from a FaceBook post by my friend, Ed Madden, whose evocative poetry finds its way into his everyday conversations. In this instance, he was describing his stay with his aging parents in rural Arkansas, where he grew up. It is a recognition of how the past waits for us to rediscover it, as we make geographical or emotional journeys to visit where we have been. Like ghostly shapes in a foggy field, the people, places, events and experiences we think we have left behind begin to appear to us. We hear old voices, see forgotten faces, recall vivid smells and relive moments as if they were yesterday.
Sometimes those memories are comforting. Other remembrances are more difficult. All of them can deepen our understanding of who we are and how we got here.
What places are haunted with ghosts for you?
Find some time to let your heart — or your feet — take you to visit those haunted places, those ghosts. Once there, quiet your mind; close your eyes. Conjure forgotten sights and sounds and smells. Listen for the voices of those you have left behind. Dwell with the ghost of who you once were. Summon your courage to consider hard memories. Try to understand with the wisdom of hindsight. Open your heart to forgive yourself and others. Feel grateful to have come this far. Bless those who loved you. Let your thoughts be a prayer.
If you are a writer, these visits with ghosts can open a whole cedar chest of poems, stories, memoir pieces and essays. For all of us, haunted places offer opportunities to experience the past in new ways, to reconsider our present lives and even to reframe our memories as chapters in a powerful story!
When We Visit Our Ghosts, It Can Be a Blessing!