My guest today is an author who offers a spiritual twist on adventure. I often talk about the healing power of adventure, but Monica Brinkman shares how healing itself can be the adventure. Monica is one of my fellow contributors to the new anthology, 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back, with her funny story, My Life As A Singing Telegram. Her visit to Girls Trek Too is part of a tour to introduce the book’s 52 contributors to readers. I make no claims of either belief or disbelief about the experience Monica describes here, but only seek to maintain an open mind, as I hope you will too.
Adventure in the Night
by Monica Brinkman
Adventure can be described as an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks, the encountering of possibility, or perhaps an exciting or remarkable experience, such as an adventure in skydiving. Many see such ventures in the light of travel to exotic lands, a quest to discover a new hobby, or simply a visit to a less trodden road hidden deep within their own vicinity. As I ponder my personal adventures in life, one specific occasion outshines any bit of travel, quest, or chance meeting, one experience that has followed me through the years and formed my understanding of my place and purpose in life.
I found myself soaring upward, through the break in the ceiling and into the depths of the evening sky.
It had been yet another “normal” evening of mother and father bickering and fighting, ultimately ending in the usual physical abuse of my dear mother; something we three children accepted, this ritual of violence bestowed upon our frail, disillusioned mom. We had known nothing else: wishing to assist and stop the insanity, knowing we had little if any control during these episodes, turning away to the sanctity of our rooms.
Yes, just another evening, tucked in bed awaiting the sandman’s presence as I lay staring at the cream-painted tile ceiling, observing each carved indention and speck of dust within their crevices in an effort to block out the loud voices and pleas for help emitted from downstairs. Tears of frustration and guilt flowed from my small oval face. I promised God I would be a better child if only he would make it stop, if only he would save my mom from this constant torment.
What happened next seemed as natural as breathing, though when I look back, how could it be such? Eyes red, tears dried, I watched the ceiling give way, fall outward, and disappear as luminous light filled its space. My eyes grew large with wonder, pupils dilated in anticipation of what would follow. Was I dreaming? I blinked and looked away, thinking this was not something I had ever seen and it had to be my imagination. I cast my eyes upward once again, taking in the brilliant radiance that flowed throughout the room, enveloping my small seven-year-old body, touching my soul.
Then as though it were the most ordinary occurrence in the world, it happened. Before me, or rather immediately above me, floated the most exquisitely, breathtakingly beautiful apparition with long flowing blonde hair. Calm focused eyes scanned my awed face as a smile of acknowledgement formed on this being’s perfectly shaped lips. You would assume my immediate reaction would be one of terror, instead of the serene tranquility and wonder that I felt. There are no perfect or exact words to describe the intensity of the moment, nor the peace within my heart. The phrase time “stood still” was a reality.
The next second I found myself soaring upward, through the break in the ceiling and into the depths of the evening sky, hand-in-hand with my newfound friend. Oh how we travelled, flying high above the houses, trees, and landscapes of my neighborhood. I could see my house grow smaller, feel the wind against my skin as I journeyed further to view the small shops and parlors of the town below. I could not believe it! I was flying! I was among the stars and clouds of the night and it was exhilarating. Laughter spouted from my mouth, glee poured from my soul, and I recall occasional glances shared with this being, looks of secret pleasure and understanding. I wanted to stay forever in this place of quiet calm where life was magnificently amazing and wondrous.
As all things must end, I found myself whooshed as a gentle force placed me back in the small metal bed. “No!” my soul cried out. “I want to go back.” I begged God to take me away, to the sky, to the beauty and the perfection.
Little did I realize the gift bestowed upon me. For in days, months, years to follow, I held a secret weapon of defense, the ability to transport myself into the sky, above the violence and despair, to a safe place of pure love and acceptance. A hidden corner to find protection and beauty during a phase in my life when little of those things existed.
You may think this madness or a figment of my overactive mind or perchance a daydream of sorts. I ask you to open your own eyes to other possibilities beyond the accepted rules of society. Some have told me this is a form of astral projection. All I know is the truth of these travels in the night, which saved a young girl’s sanity and opened her mind to investigate and fulfill her passions, unafraid to reach for the stars found beyond the dark clouds of despair.
Monica Brinkman believes in a humanitarian world. Her novel, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, reflects that belief. She’s the host of the It Matters Radio Show, columnist at the blog A Touch of Karma, and a member of the Missouri Writers Guild. Monica lives in the Midwest with her husband, two dogs, and five cats.