Empty Houses

Every area has its share of eccentric characters. When I used to drive past a row of old, rambling family houses on the run in to my local town, I’d nearly always see an old lady out at the front in all weathers, pruning her roses and trimming her hedge, or turning over the soil with a rusty spade. She had wild hair and wore a threadbare cardigan that was several sizes too large for her. Most people round here recognised her, even if they didn’t know her name. Suddenly she wasn’t there any more, and word filtered out that she’d passed on, been found in her bath by someone or other. Those houses are huge. Most get turned into flats these days, part of that modern, dismal attrition which strips the aesthetic out of provincial towns and turns them into the merely functional.

Some friends of mine with a large family were looking for a new home. They trawled through all the bigger houses in their price bracket around town, including the one that had belonged to the eccentric woman. Afterwards, the mum asked her four-year-old which one he preferred. He replied that he liked the one where the old lady was smiling at him from the bath.

0 thoughts on “Empty Houses”

  1. I’m a pretty die-hard skeptic, and don’t usually buy into the paranormal stuff. Then I hear anecdotes like this and it does raise my curiosity. The skeptic in me says, children hear stories and have wild imagination. I certainly battled a few monsters, and laid primitive traps of twine and stuffed animals for invading sasquatches during my childhood. The other part of me reads this story and thinks that honesty often comes in its purest form from an off the cuff remark of a child. Thanks for sharing.

  2. How goes the old religious dogma : ” Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings comes pearls of wisdom……”
    I`m an engineer , with several degrees , and my work ( when I have it ) keeps me grounded in the nuts and bolts of the secular world around me ……yet , I have seen and felt and been part of a lifetime`s events that defy rational explanation .
    My conclusions and musings on these events have led me to the realisation that without these kinds of mystical experiences life is the poorer , the hollower , and is an incomplete adventure ; a parody of life .
    Give me the richer , the enigmatic , the esoterically unblinkered life any day .
    A fool , a wishful thinker you might say : self deception or self realisation . Who can say .
    The great Bards said it better than any of us could , the avatars of old ; the Buddha , Jesus , they saw the true nature of reality .
    One man`s walk in a forest can be a tiresome awkward and a pointless exercise ; to another it can be an holy and magical event full of symbolic wonders and truths .
    I would much prefer to walk with the latter man rather than the former . Much more fun .
    We only see what we are able to see . But when we unfetter and open up our consciousness to the possibilities of existence then the miraculous transforms into the mundane and the magical becomes the norm.
    Explanation is not required . Belief is arbitrary and not necessary .
    It leads one to the state of being where it is a pointless task to impose ones ethics and spiritual lifestyle on anyone .
    The proof in this pudding is in the eating alone; and rich and satisfying is this particular food for thought to an open and inquiring mind .
    Cheers Mark , and thanks Justin for your own food for thought . Thanks for sharing .
    Right , soap – box away and time for a glass of wine !

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