Titanic and the 95th anniversary of taking of Vimy Ridge - ghosts of times past. Conveniently, I was reminded of a story.
A friend of mine grew up in an old house in the country. Her mother, who I'll call Maddy, was of the hippy persuasion and she harbored a deference for both other schools of thought and clean laundry. So ingrained was her respect for other living, growing things that she would apologize to potatoes before peeling them. Hippies were like that.
When Maddy and her young family first moved in to the house, she told her daughter years later, she thought she felt there was something "different" about the house but she gave it no real thought.
The washing machine in this house was on the second floor, accessed by a back staircase from the kitchen. Every time Maddy went up the staircase with a full basket of laundry she would feel herself being gently pushed back. As it continued day after day she understood there must be a spirit in the house who was just trying to let its presence be known. Maddy was okay with that. She was quite willing to share the house with a spirit. After a while she got used to having to spend a bit of extra energy getting up the back stairs to the washing machine. And life carried on.
Then one day, Maddy was not feeling well. She had been up all night with a sick child and as she began going up the stairs with a load of laundry she felt an especially strong push back, one that threatened to knock her back down the steps. Perhaps it was her tiredness combined with a momentary fear of falling that caused her frustration to boil over and she quite uncharacteristically shouted, "Oh look, bugger off! I'm tired of your trying to push me back whenever I come up these steps, I'm not feeling well, I don't care who you are or what your reasons are but I just don't need this today. So, STOP IT!" (Actual wording changed to allow publication.) She then caught her breath, felt a bit guilty for yelling and continued up the stairs unencumbered, never to feel the push again.
No great moral here, but since I heard this story whenever I have felt something holding me back I remember Maddy's story. And my friends have gotten used to me yelling into thin air.