This is my third visit to North Carolina to see Eddie as he completes his Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Course. The house we stay in is remotely located about 10 minutes up a mountain, isolated in the thick forest.
I noticed a few strange things in the house during my first visit…things like downstairs noises and foot steps when I thought I was alone. I chalked it up to an old house and a windy day. My second visit however, the owner of the house informed me that he believed dead Cherokee Indians haunted his house and property. And on that trip, Eddie and I both heard some strange things. We each thought the other was walking around or moving large objects only to come in the room and find them sound asleep or relaxing quietly on the bed. One day, Eddie came home from class and asked if I wanted to go downstairs to the kitchen with him to cook supper. I told him that I didn’t want to because a friend of the owner was down there and I didn’t want to disturb him. He had been making noise all day, hammering and wood-working on the various house re-modeling projects. Eddie went down to say hello, but soon came back upstairs and said, “There’s no one here. He must have left.” But we both knew that no one can come or go without being noticed. The house is too small. The car would make too much noise. Our window directly faces the driveway where a car would have been parked all day if someone really had bee there and I would have seen them get into their car and leave. One day I got a little upset with the house owner when I thought he had been in our room, moving our belongings. When I asked him about it, he said he hadn’t touched a thing, but it happens to him all the time as well. He told me how his tools disappear and reappear in the oddest places. He spoke nonchalantly as if it were no big deal and once again told me how he believed his house is haunted.
I don’t believe in ghosts, but my imagination certainly runs wild when I am here, alone, at night, waiting for Eddie to return from class. Without so much as a single light bulb outside to illuminate the area, the thick mountainous woods seem the perfect place to house all kinds of chilling things. But no matter how much I terrify and psych myself out of taking the dog for a short walk after dark, all the ridiculous, fabricated ghosts seem to vanish the in the morning. The moment the sun comes up.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought that must be the cure for all kinds of things. How many horrible days and nights have I experienced, magnifying something small until it is so daunting and overwhelming, I can’t bear to face it? Yet, in the new, comforting light of day, it doesn’t seem so awful or hopeless. Life keeps going, no matter how worried or anxious I become or how monumental and scary day to day tasks transform into. The ghosts disappear when the sun comes up. And even if they grow again as the day and night progresses, there will always be another sun in the morning, illuminating the darkness. Sometimes we just have to wait until then.