Imagine the sound of the first snow falling and quietly collecting on the front yard fence and window sills till the silence overtakes the grey night sky. Climbing up the window panes vignetting the scene outside from the warmth of the cozy living room. The soft glow emanating from the fireplace with a slow crackling sound as we sit in deep rich brown well worn leather chairs angled at a safe distance from the flames. Relax with a fresh cup of hot coco and listen as I recount this story.
I have been called a skeptic and nonbeliever, a doubting Thomas, disbeliever, scoffer, defiant and a pessimist. I would have to agree with these titles until an uncommon event changed everything I had previously believed in. This occurred at a time when my hair was more pepper than salt. These days as I stand beneath the street lamp waiting on a ride the light shines bright off of my dome. Growing old is a sweet reward for a life lived well. Many people never receive the chance to grow old and experience family life with children and grand children.
She struck me as an odd one from the first time I saw her sipping her hot tea in the corner trendy coffee shop. As I watched from a safe distance there was an uncanny familiarity about her as I observed her movements. The graceful movement as her arms moved the cup of tea up to touch her lips. The delicate way her eyelids slowly blinked as she looked off into space. I had a strange feeling she was not completely in this room as was I.
All the skeptic flags popped up when I learned a few days later of her having just moved into the house across the street and two doors down from my own house. These houses were small turn of the century single family dwellings. They were new back when the industrial age was still in the infancy stage.
She knocked on my front door despite the door bell being quite visible. I was sure she was being rather forward but then realized it was her openly friendly nature.
“Hello, can I help you with something?’ I said with a puzzled look.
She immediately stuck her hand out and said, “Hi, my name is Carina and I just moved in across the street. I wanted to meet my neighbors and it seems you’re the only one home.”
She was dressed in a long flowing dress that appeared to be a very soft fabric clinging to her revealing a slender body. She had a glow about her that grabbed my attention in a subtle way
I took her outstretched hand and said, “Welcome to the neighborhood, I’m Thomas Winwood and the only reason I’m home is this is my one day off. Would you like to come in for some coffee or tea?”
I remembered her drinking tea at the coffee shop but wash’t sure if she drank coffee or not.
She smiled and said, “tea would be nice thank you.”
I stepped aside and let her enter and she followed me into the kitchen where I put on a kettle of water for two cups of tea.
“What brings you to our small city here on the outskirts of nowhere?” I said
“I’m a photographer in search of the perfect picture.” And with that she smiled with her eyes looking over the steaming cup of tea.
I felt something stir in me from another time and another place that I could not grasp between the forefinger and thumb of my mind. There was something in her eyes that sparkled with an energy I had never seen before.
“What would there be of any interest to photograph in this small off the beaten path two traffic light town?” I said holding my tea out to see the swirls of steam rising off the surface.
“Oh you have no idea how much slips by in plain sight that the average observer misses. It’s not the obvious I’m looking for, but the extraordinary phenomenon only a shift in consciousness can detect but it takes a little work to see.”
I didn’t know what to say and it was definitely an awkward silence as we sipped our tea. I turned to look out the kitchen window as the clock seemed to tick louder by the second.
She asked, “Have you ever read anything about time travel?”
“Well no not really though I have seen the back to the future trilogy movies.” I said.
“It’s just that most people when they talk about time travel, they are always wanting to go back in time, not forward. The concept of there being a forward or backward is just that, a concept or theory. I believe if there is a time line then who’s to say we are where we are based on the present moment? Is it not possible we all have traveled back in time to the present and all we are doing here is trying to remember that we did intact travel back and now we’re stuck in a consciousness that can’t remember or origin or where we came from?”
I was feeling uneasy and began contriving an escape from this lunatic I gave entrance into my house.
I said, “How about sports, do you like sports?” Then I felt stupid.
She smiled and I searched frantically for something intelligent to say.
“What I mean is, I’ve never really considered anything like this and I wouldn’t know where to start to add anything relevant to your ideas. I’ve always lived a simple life and never asked for much more than a steady job and my fair share of rest. But your ideas are certainly interesting.“
She look at me with soft and loving eyes and said, “would it scare you terribly if I told you I have experienced that very thing. Traveling to what we would call forward in time to see where I came from?”
I was silent.
“Are you talking about dreams or imagination or something like that?
“Well yes and no. I mean you can start in your dreams and that is an excellent way to free or train your mind to accept the possibility of actual time travel. It’s like a flower unfolding in the spring, it doesn’t happen all at once but in a gradual motion and motion is the universal law of our universe. Everything is in constant motion, everything you perceive with your senses.”
“Why are you so interested in this subject?” I said, knowing I’d be in for more twists and turns.
“It’s the universal questions, who are we and where did we come from and where are we going?”
She looked at me with a puzzled look and then stood up.
“If you only knew.” She said.
I heard the front door close. The kitchen was quiet as I sat staring at the floor, unable to move. I just couldn’t get my head around what she offered as a viable option to questions I honestly never really considered. In the following weeks, my interest increased as I couldn’t get our last conversation out of my mind. Returning again and again to the last thing she said, “If you only knew.”
Three weeks passed when she came walking up the street and stopped at my door. I sat on the old, in need of paint, front porch swing enjoying a quiet Saturday morning.
“Hey.” She said.
“Hi there neighbor.”