Leftover debris from summer storms accumulated in a pile in our yard, larger this year than most. Outside temperatures finally cooled to the point one can actually stand to turn the air conditioning off. Both were signs that it is truly Fall once more. My boys, including the biggest kid of them all, eagerly piled as many limbs and dried leaves as they could in our fire pit and soon the evening was lit by its merry blaze.
The activity caught the eye of Her Royal Highness. Leaving the couch she has assumed as her throne, she padded her way to the edge of the fire ring. The boys threw another pine cone or two on the pile, sending ash and embers in the air. Her Royal Highness was not impressed with this display and returned post-haste to a more cushioned viewing distance. It was one of those times I was reminded how very different she is from our late dog.
He was much more possessive of the great back doors than she ever has been. An errant snap of a branch or roar from a car in the distance would have sent him running outside with his hackles at full attention. He’d hold his ground in the middle of the yard and bark at least a half a dozen times before running along the length of the fencing to ensure that the perimeter remained secure. Only then would he return to our side with a huff, puff, and or snort.
Could we not sense the unseen danger? He would ask without words, our fireside evenings anything but relaxing. There could be squirrels out there, cats, or even worse, deer! Eventually, his doggy paranoia would grow too much and with another huff, snort, and ruff, he’d trot off for another inspection of the parameter.
Shortly after he passed, I remember staring into the fire afterward, listening to its pops and crackles, and thinking to myself how quiet the evening was without him. Motion caught my eye, a shadow against our fence. The shadow moved as the fire blazed, and I swear it was dog shaped. As quickly as I noticed it, the shadow shifted across the fence as if my dog running his defense of our perimeter one last time.
I know the light can play tricks on you and eyes can sometimes make something out of nothing, especially if there is something they really want to see, but this time of year I can’t help but wonder if there may be truth to some of the stories about things that go bump in the night. And maybe, just maybe, that’s not a bad thing. I’ve never seen that shadow again, nor heard a bark from a dog that was not there, but it was enough to make me ask what if and think about other impossible things.
I am a huge fan of paranormal stories in general, particularly so, this time of year. The thought that there may yet be mysteries out there for us to discover thrills me.
Two quotes, attributed to Albert Einstein resonate with me:
“The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
“Once you stop learning, you start dying.”
As much as I miss my late big sweetie, I am in no hurry to learn the answer to the question of whether or not there is life after death beyond what I take on faith. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other mysteries to ponder or other discoveries out there to make.
Imagine if Einstein or other researchers or scientists had stopped their work just because everyone told them the questions weren’t worth asking, or the task, impossible to perform. This is why it is so important to maintain an open mind, to accept that there are things we do not know, and to challenge the things we think we do. While some ideas may prove to never be anything more than a good fireside tale, there remains plenty out there for humanity to discover if we are only willing to consider the impossible.
- 10 famous scientists who held supernatural beliefs
- 6 scientific explanations for ghosts
- 10 impossibilities conquered by science
- 10 inventions no one thought would ever work
If you have a spooky story of your own to share or would like to share a bit of news that no one else thought possible, feel free to either submit it or the link in the comments section.