The Middle Lands

"Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still

Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen had no choice
I did not believe the information

I just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom boom boom
"Son," he said "Grab your things,

I've come to take you home."

Peter Gabriel/Solsbury Hill

Phil grimaced. It was still so unreal to him that to hear it put so plainly hurt. "What's there to tell?" he said, "I went to bed one night and I woke up here the next morning. End of story."
(They waited patiently)

"Alright. We had had a fight the night before. I told her I was going to leave her, going to pack my things and take the kids the next morning and get the hell out. I told her I couldn't take it anymore." He stopped there.


"And…I told her I had fallen in love with someone else. Stupid thing to tell her. I hit her with all of it at once and she just fell apart I guess. Went out with her girlfriend and I went to bed. The next thing I know is I am standing over my dead body wondering what the hell was going on." He was visibly shaking. "I walked around the room then around the house. I was terrified that something had happened to the kids. I checked on them and saw that they were sound asleep. I felt a tugging, like someone was pulling on my hand. I saw that wonderful bright light that everyone speaks about and I knew that I was being pulled toward it. But I held on to the banister on the staircase so I wouldn't go."

Why didn't you go?

"Because that would have meant leaving my kids alone in the house with the body of their dead father, that's why. And as far as I knew the person who did this to me might come back for them or might even still be inside the house. The light and 'eternal rest' would have to wait. Then Brynn came home and I hear a horrible scream coming from the bedroom. I rush in there in time to see my wife's brains splatter all over the wall. What a wonderful thing to witness. I looked a lot worse then her though I must say. And then I come to find out that she is the one who orphaned our kids. The police were there and they took Shawn and Birgen out of the house. They were crying for me. I kept hearing them say "daddy, daddy" and I called back "it's ok guys, you'll be ok" but of course they didn't hear me. So I stood there waiting for someone to "meet me" like I always read would happen but no one showed up. I was dead, alone and really pissed off. I walked back to the banister, felt the tugging again, looked back only once at the house I had tried to make a home then left myself go into the light. Going through the light was an experience. I felt a giant ‘whoosh’ and the next thing I know I am seeing all around me my whole life in super fast forward. SNL, NewsRadio, even my birth was recorded by some neatherworld camera. I saw my boats, my plane, my car, motorcycle, my guitar, piano, sax. Surfboards, guns. All my toys, which I guess meant something. Saw all my friends, damn that was probably the whole entertainment industry. Everyone was crying. Saw my family, all my brothers and sisters, and my mom. They were all so broken up. Saw my kids…" he paused and let a tear break through, "saw my kids so confused, Birgen crying and Sean trying so hard not to. Trying to be a 'man' which was not something I never taught him. I mean, I used to cry right along side them. Anyways, next thing I know I am here."

What about your cremation, the spreading of your ashes?

It was very strange. I felt pieces of myself being thrown in different directions, scattered on the water. It was almost like I was surfing again but this time I really was a part of the ocean. It was a wonderful, freeing experience. It felt at ease after that, that it was finally over."

And your children?

"They are alright. As well as can be expected I suppose. Their aunt takes very good care of them. I have such a big family that there is no shortage of love for them. Thank you, by the way for letting me visit them every now and then."

It is part of your right and responsibility to do so. Even in death you never lose that bond with your offspring.

"That is nice to know. I guess if I didn't it would give a new meaning to 'dead beat dad' huh?" he laughed out loud.

(They smiled, happy to see that he was losing his anger)

We do know you realize, that you have been visiting them unattended. We know of your special gift.

Phil cringed. "Uh oh, the jig is up" he thought to himself. "I am sorry. I just can't bear to be away from them for too long. I meant no harm. Please do not take this away from me. I will do anything you want just don't keep me from my kids."

We would NEVER even consider doing that, Philip. We are just very surprised that you learned to use your wings so quickly. Souls only learn to do that in heaven and only after much much practice with a specialized teacher. And not every soul gets wings either. But then again, you have had these wings your whole life, another unique quality.

Phil couldn't help but look at his sides searching for these mysterious wings. Almost as frustrating as looking for his watch.

You cannot see them while you are here. Only on the next plane will they become visible to you. That is IF you are meant to go there.

"Then how can I use this gift if I am not supposed to?" he questioned them.

Because it is exactly what it is, a special gift. It was given to you by someone even older than us, someone with much more knowledge then we. But the gift means nothing if the receiver cannot apply the knowledge. This is what fascinates us; that you are able to learn to use this gift so quickly. We wonder what other gifts you may have that are beyond our knowing.

Part 13