06
Apr
08

Phoenix Rising (3)

As I listened to Chris telling anecdotes from our family’s past, I felt a little giddy. I must have rocked a little, because Astra leaned across and gently held my arm.
‘Are you ok Mum? You look a bit pale’
‘I’m fine Sweetheart’, I whispered back, but come to think of it, I did feel a little odd. I turned my attention back to Chris, but soon became lost in my own thoughts again, as I remembered that Astra alone was the only member who had not seen the Phoenix. We had not told her about it and had sworn Phoenix to secrecy when it became clear that he had seen the bird too. As a child he was happy and contented, but we had a couple of fretful days, when he lost his playmate, his bear. Jack was a special bear, at least Phoenix thought so, and when he suddenly became lost, poor Phoenix was distraught. We searched high and low for two days. Every nook and cranny was torn about and scrutinised, indoors and out, but no Jack. On the third night, Phoenix cried himself to sleep again. My heart broke for him. I had been on the phone that day trying to find an identical bear to replace Jack, in the hopes that Phoenix would not be able to tell it was a substitute, but so far I had not been successful in locating another bear. At last he slept, quite soundly I thought, considering his distress. In the morning I heard him wake up, shouting for me. I rushed in, ready to soothe him, but he was beaming.
‘Jack’s coming back’.
‘Is he? How do you know?’.  I was concerned that he was going to be disappointed, but his next words blew me away.
‘The big bird said he was coming back today. In Grandma’s car.’
‘The big bird?’
‘A big, big bird like an eagle in the sky’. He pointed to the window. ‘I saw him fly up to the moon’.
The curtains were still drawn across. Clearly he had been dreaming, but I knew instantly that the Phoenix had come to him. I gathered him up in my arms, kissed him and said that that was good news and I hoped that Jack would come back that day.
‘He will’, my son assured me, and scrambled down from my arms to run excitedly to tell his dad the news.
The amazing part about this was that everything came true. Jack did come back, and in Grandma’s car. Two days previously, my mother had bought her mother to visit. My grandmother was in the later stages of dementia at that time, and it looked as if she had taken a liking to Jack and carried him out to the car when she and Mum returned home. She had left him in the car, and Mum, not having used the car since, never thought to look there. No reason to. So Jack lay there for two days, until Mum used the car that morning and found him. She immediately cancelled her aromatherapy massage and came straight to us with the bear. Phoenix was ecstatic and told her all about the bird. I did wonder if she had seen the Phoenix, but there wasn’t even a glimmer of recognition as her grandson related his dream, so I concluded she hadn’t ever had the vision. We suspected that Phoenix saw the bird several times, but we never pressed him about it until he was in his teens. He suddenly mentioned it one day. Luckily Astra wasn’t around. Chris sat him down and told him about our experiences. Phoenix was very calm about it, saying that he clearly remembered that first dream and had felt relief after the vision. Likewise the second time he had seen the phoenix, when he was being bullied at school. The bird had come to him in another dream, this time the bird carried a book which had the word, ‘Bullies’ written on it. Phoenix had taken this as a sign that he should research the subject, and had gone to the library and read up on the bullying, which had given him the necessary knowledge and confidence to deal with the situation. Chris and I had explained that we didn’t want Astra to be told. If the Phoenix was meant to reveal itself to her, better let it happen naturally, rather than plant images in her head.
So Astra to my knowledge had not seen the bird. Perhaps she was not able to see it, like my mother, or maybe it hadn’t been necessary for her to have a sighting. Perhaps we would never know.
 
Loud clapping and cheering brought me back to the here and now, and I joined in, smiling at my wonderful husband. We had never faltered in our love for each other. I hoped Phoenix and Astra would be just as happy. Astra had been married for nearly a year and we liked her husband. I expected them to have a good life together. Phoenix was as yet single, but he would settle down soon. He was a good and kind person and women loved him. When the time was right…
Ohh! A sharp pain hit me in my chest. And then another. Oh my god…what’s happening. I felt my legs go under me and then another sharp searing pain before I blacked out. Yet I was still there. I could hear everyone around me, bending over me, concerned. Chris was asking for an ambulance. Bless him. Too late this time Sweetheart! His sweet face was desperate with worry. I wish I could soothe him. Suddenly I realised I was seeing as well as hearing, but I was no longer in pain. In fact I felt at peace, but I wasn’t happy that these wonderful people were in so much pain. Astra was crying at my side, and Phoenix just stood with tears in his eyes. Astra began to pull at my arms.
‘Mum, get up, come on get up. You’ll be ok. You’ll be fine’.
I heard Chris ask Sam, her husband to take her away. Sam pulled her gently to the back of the room and held her, trying to comfort her. As I looked down at the scene below me, I was surprised to see smoke rising up somewhere below me, red and yellow. No!  Gold smoke. Did someone have some incense? Suddenly Astra went berserk.
‘Look, Mum’s changing into a bird. She’s a bird. Do something. Someone do something, she’s on fire’.
I saw Chris’s face turn and look up at me and recognition flit across his features. Then it hit me. Was I the phoenix? Or was the phoenix in us all, but some know it and others don’t. I looked down and saw my feathers, gold edged, glittering through the smoke, and my red coloured plumage covering what I could see of my chest. Yes, I was in the care of the bird, and I knew that my husband and son would understand and pass this understanding onto Astra. No one else in the room saw anything untoward and they appeared to think Astra was in some sort of shock, so didn’t react in anything other than a sympathetic way when she lunged for my body again. This time Chris and Phoenix took her and cradled her, murmuring something I couldn’t quite catch, but I knew from her face that they had told her. The fear had gone and her eyes travelled upwards taking in the whole spectacle. As I looked at my daughter, I knew that new life was imminent and that she would come to understand very soon.
Strange that no-one else in the room was cognisant of what was happening.
Content that my family would be safe, I knew that it was time to let the phoenix finish what it had started and I released the last breath, letting the divinity draw me upwards to prepare me for my new life.

©DF 2008
 
 

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