Faded Roses on a Music Box


A change in the wind, one that arrived just before Thanksgiving, had taken a hold of me. Part of it was giving into the darkness, but there was some other influence I felt. It was not the usual demons that I could battle, the familiar ones I knew, but something other, an antagonistic energy that I’m only just now beginning to see, perhaps coming from within my own house. It felt like I was under attack, but I couldn’t see that then, so I acted out.

I’m a very intuitive person, but sometimes it takes me a while to see larger arcs at work, and to figure out how they are affecting me and why. I’m also quite sensitive (scoff if you must, it’s true) to such subtle pressures, and in the same way a tiny sliver can wreak havoc with an entire body, the slightest ruffle in my relationships with others can result in the biggest kerfuffle. Looking back, I see things now, and only with that awareness can I begin to protect myself.

There will always be darkness at work in the world, but there is goodness too, and if you lead a decent life I believe there are certain protections afforded you to counter any ill-will. After several disturbing dreams, I felt like a couple of protective angels in the form of Andy’s Mom and my grandmother have arrived to intercede and to protect me, no matter how hard some inevitable choices may end up being. First was a dream I had of the former, and second was this feeling I had of the latter.

A waltz was playing on the classical station that Andy always has on in the living room. My ears perked up a bit, recognizing the tune but not immediately placing it, not until a memory comes floating back to me, of my brother and I fitting snugly on my grandmother’s single bed as she sat in a wooden rocking chair, reading to us or regaling us with tales of Peter Rabbit or Greta Garbo (I was equally enthralled by both.) We’d play card games (Bust the Farmer or Snatch the Bundle) on the bed before our parents made us go to sleep, and sometimes we’d wind up the lacquered music box clock adorned with pink roses to hear it play the waltz that was now on the radio.

On the day she died, before we knew she was going to go, I’d stopped by my parents’ house after seeing her. I walked up to the attic to find some of her things, and for a moment I stood looking out over the rolling field that led down to my elementary school, and beyond that to the Mohawk River. Suddenly a few notes of my grandmother’s music box clock played. I hadn’t even noticed it there. I tried to wind it up again but it was broken. Those last few notes hung in the air and I cried.

On this day, a few years later, as the orchestra filled out the same waltz, bringing me back to my grammy and those idyllic evenings before bedtime, I felt a strength and protection that was still present, still resonant in my heart. I went up to the attic in my home, and found the clock that my Mom had given to me after Gram passed. I held it in my hands and looked over its faded roses and rusty hinges.

I’m not usually one given over to such New-Age namby-pamby talk, but once upon a time I was, and I was happy. I think I just lost my way for a while, and let others do the leading. That has never served anyone well, and it’s time to rectify things. I’m lucky to have a little help from above.

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