Friday, 27 January 2012

Postcards From The Otherside

Nearly a week ago now I received a postcard ... a postcard from the other side. That's what I call them anyway. I tend to get them this time of year, end of January beginning of February, just when I really need one.

This one came via a friend's post on Facebook. I'm only just beginning to get to know this treasure of a woman so she doesn't know all about me and me her. The post was asking if forest walkers knew anything about a certain lookout point where some beautiful tree stump seats had been put along with flowers laid at the tree trunk base. Well goosebumps tingled their way all over for a few minutes as I wrote back to enquire if it was the same place I had in mind. It was. The next day I went a wandering up to the place on a small hill with two trees at the top where my daughter's father and I had made some peace with each other more than two years after her death. It was a place we had previously wandered often together and sat and talked together. It is there in the ground between the two trees, our sacred space.

This time as I drew close I could see the two tree stump seats now sat in exactly the same place we used to sit. In the two trees were flowers, and at the base of one was a stone with a hole in it, like I used to collect on the beach when I was pregnant. He didn't put them there, her father, someone did for some reason. So how do I know it was a postcard, because it was signed that's how. You see the woman who unwittingly directed me back to the special place on the hill has a daughter a few years younger than mine would be, also called Izzy.

And that's how I get them. She would be five soon, in just over a week in fact. I can tell you though that her name is unusual enough for me to hardly every hear it. A few times a year. And sometimes it's a postcard.

On her birthday two years ago, after we'd been to her little garden and tree, my son and I found ourselves in a local forest town with one high street. As we got out of the car we decided we wanted to get her a present each. And we chatted about what we wanted to get. My son wanted to get this another one of this particular brand of bear he collects for her. Izzy was buried with one and strangely a few turned up for him in odd places during the first year after she was gone. I said I wanted something with a moon and a fairy on it. We also decided not to be disappointed if we couldn't find the things we had in mind because it was a very small shopping street.

Well there in the shop window was huge display of these bears and there was one sat on a cupcake which said Happy Birthday. With tears in our eyes we bought present number one. The shop next door sold clothes and a few trinkets. It was quiet, with only two other browsers towards the back of the shop. There on shelf, rather randomly, sat a paperweight globe with a fairy on a moon inside. As I picked it up the woman shopper said in a loud voice to her daughter "Oooh look Izzy" ... I nearly dropped the bloomin' thing. So present number two got the seal of approval and we scuttled home. To this day I don't know why we suddenly felt like shopping on the way home when all we wanted to do was be safe with our sadness away from everyone.

Last year, after an otherworld journey in which I received some instructions, I ended up at street corner at 2:30pm wondering what on earth I was supposed to be doing next when the church clock struck and minded me to walk into the graveyard. After a bit of a ramble and no clue as to the wiser, thinking I 'd got my messages wrong I decided to wander out and home again. On the way out a girl, who had not been there on my way in, sat on a bench alone deep in thought drawing my attention to the bench itself. It was surrounded on all sides by a metre wide whiteness of snowdrops and there also was a little a robin perched on a post. The snow drops were late that year. To my frustration I hadn't seen any till that point. Snowdrops are Izzy's flower and a robin sits on her grave.

Before I stop rambling on, I want to tell you about another one, a summer postcard this time. It happened when my son and I were watching a display of jousting at Lulworth Castle. The day was a bit overcast so the crowds were thin on the ground and there were plenty of gaps to watch. All of a sudden this little girl ran up and thrust her way between the two of us, content to watch from there. Her family called and called but she wouldn't budge. She just stood and watched, just like she was part of our family. Me and my son didn't kind of know what to do. And yep, every time they called her they shouted Izzy. Eventually she went on her way with them and they apologised. Inside I was just crying grateful tears wishing they knew why they should not be sorry. Just for a few moments the Izzy gap had been occupied.

Things like this are weird and sad and happy all at once. I've heard the name Izzy several times over the past few years and sometimes it's not a thing, it's just normal. I can't explain but you just kind of know when it's a different thing, a meaning, a message even if you don't know what. I don't analyse I'm just grateful for my postcards and for little girls elsewhere called Izzy who deliver them sometimes.

The Dreadess xx

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