An Urban Spiritual Tale
‘Antara’ Kyra Lober
She lived in a small town in Northern California. She was gaunt and tall with wispy hair down to her shoulders. Her clothes clung to her like fairy wings and when she spoke there was a sense that angels spoke through her. She was a healer which is to say that people came to visit. She spoke to them, sometimes she placed her hands on them. Many got well and some didn’t but they all felt better for being in her presence.
She was gaunt and seemed in certain moments both fragile and ageless. She lived in a small house on a hill. There was a garden in back with flowers. Her dog, Molly, dug up the flowers. In August while her roses still bloomed and succulents clung to the dusty hill, she walked into town in a thin flowery dress, a straw hat on her head. This day she stopped at the local café and ordered lemonade.
A corpulent man, perhaps the same age as her, sat in the back of the restaurant. He was partially bald, what hair he had was tied in a ponytail. He had a ruddy complexion, watery blue eyes, scraggly white beard and a kind smile. Their eyes met and he experienced a flash of recognition.
‘’Well, I’ll be,’’ said the man at the back table, ‘’haven’t I met you before? Aren’t you Alice Edgewalker aka Deva*Wonderbar. You were rightly named Deva for the pixie magic in you….’’ The man was clearly flustered by now. The woman returned his speech with a ‘who?’, ‘what?’, ‘not me’, stare and a small shake of her head.
‘’Sorry lady, thought you were someone else.’’
‘’Maybe I am, but maybe I’m not that person anymore.’’
‘’Weren’t you involved in the consciousness scene, hanging out with Paul Lowe and Nirmala? Didn’t I see you up at Harbin Hot Springs or was that Poona India? You were some wild dancing Ma*, a spiritual goddess every woman wanted to be, and every man wanted. Me, I thought you were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Never said a word to you, I was scared. You were too beautiful for me.’’
‘’Could have been Charley. It is Charley isn’t it.’’ She sipped her lemonade as she made the question into a statement. There were no angels in her voice as she spoke. ‘’People change, they move on.’’ She finished her lemonade and left.
His old pickup truck pulled up as she reached the edge of the small strip of shops, ‘’Let me give you a lift. Day’s hot, lady.’’
She turned and smiled, the angels crept across her lips. Her face became luminous. ‘’Don’t mind if you do, thank you.’’ She lithely climbed aboard belying her 68 years.
‘’Alice Edgewalker, it is really you isn’t it?’’
‘’I told you that woman no longer exists. I don’t walk the edge. I am the edge, Charley. She turned her liquid blue eyes on him and he dropped into the space of her spirit…and she looked into his soul and said ‘’you’re not well. Why don’t you come stay with me for a few days? I work with herbs and energy.’’
‘’How’d you know…’bout me being sick?’’
‘’Charley, you know how I know. I see it in your aura*, the magnetic energy field around you and I see it in your eyes. You know about those things….your Alice certainly did.’’
‘’How ya get ill? Drugs, alcohol, a woman?’’
‘’Not exactly, Alice… My daughter, she was killed in a car accident about a year ago. I had never been around much for her when she was young. Too busy seeking God, enlightenment somewhere outside myself. We were just beginning to heal all that between us. Then she died. I felt guilty, angry, shocked. Did my meditations, thought I’d felt my feelings, then I hit the bottle, ayahuasca, any old thing but it didn’t change the feelings… and they didn’t go away. Guess they got a life of their own. I just wanted my daughter back. Couldn’t accept the ‘isness’ of her passing. Maybe it was more about me. There’s been a lot of changes. I never did find my purpose in life. Found some wisdom, sometimes but somehow not enough. Anyway I got sick some months back.’’
‘’You’re a good man, Charley. Better than you think. Some things just take time.’’
‘’I’ve been driving around, picking up odd jobs, construction mostly. Can’t really work, now. Slowly, making my way to San Diego, got some relatives and a son there. Don’t want to be a burden to anyone.’’
Charley slipped into silence and Alice just pointed to a street on the right as they drove down the road. Molley, the long haired black mutt came wagging her big red tongue as they came up to a small house on the hill.
Charley moved into the spare bedroom. He fixed the broken window and screen; tended the roses; did the shopping. He played an old guitar in the evenings; sat in meditation, a bandana tied across his head in the mornings. He and she lived in the same house for a month and then two. They walked the back roads, they ate together. Well, he ate. Alice, slender as she was just picked at the food. She gave the rest to Molley. “Are you thinking of becoming a ‘breatherian’, one of those folks who lives on air?” Charley asked. Alice laughed, her eyes shone with love.
Charley helped out as he could but he was aware that Alice traveled in other places. He could see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice. He even began to see the angels that followed her and the glow that radiated from her translucent skin.
About the third month, he realized he was no longer ill. The pure water, herbs and the presence of the woman once known as Alice Edgewalker aka Deva Wunderbar had healed him. He left soon after to visit his son and family in San Diego. He returned a few months later. The house on the hill was empty. There were no roses.
In town they said the house had been empty or vacant for years. No-one remembered the healer on the hill. A young woman who worked in the café said she used to dream of such a woman when she felt ill or tired or simply down.
“Funny you looking for a woman like I saw in my dreams,” said the young waitress, “Edgewalker is sure a pretty name. Might take a name like that for myself one day.” The blond young woman with the liquid blue eyes turned towards the sunlight coming through the window. Prem* Charley looked with her as the sunlight streamed ever brighter now into the dark café. He felt the wonder… and the miracle. His heart melted into the oneness. He disappeared and became a blessing……
*Deva = nature spirit
*Ma = a female sanyasin, disciple
*aura = energy or magnetic field surrounding the body
*Prem = prefix of a sanyasin name, meaning Love