People think I’m strange when I say this, but I believe the spirits of our ancestors often play a prominent role in our lives and in the choices we make. Have you ever seen someone say or do things that are completely out of character? I have. I’ve even done things myself and wondered, “Why did I do that?” – things that are so unorthodox for me that they make me seem like a totally different person. I do believe loved ones – and not so loved ones – present themselves to us.
Sometimes, I think our ancestors come along to help guide us and our thinking and decision-making. Other times, I think they come along just to say hi and visit with us. Yes, I also believe on the dark side of things, they may also come along to torment us, like in the movies The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror, and The Omen. These movies were presumably based on real life events. But in most instances when the spirits visit us, I do not believe it is with evil intent, but rather, to bring us warmth and peace and to help us sort out our problems.
Many years ago while sitting on a bench waiting for a bus in Northeast DC, I felt someone looking, staring at me. You ever have that eerie feeling that you were being watch? (I’m thinking about lyrics to that old Rockwell song from back in the 80s, “I always feel like, somebody’s watching me.”)
I look up and this older, senior woman was standing there waiting as well, though she was waiting for a different bus. I couldn’t help but stare at her. She was the splitting image of my paternal grandmother. My face cracked and my jaws dropped, as *Bama (sounds like “Bamm-Ma” that’s what we called her) had passed away a couple of years earlier.
I scooted over slightly in case she wanted to sit, but she preferred to stand. I explained to her why I was staring. I do that (explain), so people don’t think something is wrong with me. Well, there’s plenty of stuff wrong with me, but, I try to keep from making people feel too uncomfortable around me. We exchanged a few words about our lives and our pasts to see whether we were connected. Nothing that we could uncover in those few short minutes. She even had Bama’s voice and gestures/body language. The woman told me she had had similar experiences too, so she understood precisely what I was feeling. It was odd yet comforting at the same time.
That is one of many experiences I have had to teach me the impact our ancestors play in our lives. I believe that’s what was going on in the blog article I wrote the other day, the one titled, Did They Stop Eating Out Of The Palm Of Your Hand. That bird that visited me and ate pumpernickel bread from my hand while none of the other birds paid any attention to me was probably an ancestor.
I believe the spirits, our ancestors, present themselves to us in a variety of forms. From insects, to birds, from people to even the weather — including the wind, the rain and even violent storms, we never know who and in what form our ancestors will show themselves to us.
*Isn’t it ironic, Bama’s birth name is Grace. It’s ironic because my paternal and maternal grandmother’s name is Grace.