“Angels are all around us
and any heart who yearns to
can reach out
and touch a wing.”
On our daily paths in our lives, angels are all around us. Most of us go about our routines and never notice their presence. And yet they are there, always, and ready to assist us.
Have you ever met an angel? I believe that I have met several of them, and it is always an extraordinary feeling. The ones I have met have looked just like you and me, and yet the feeling of their presence is a subtle tingling that runs up your spine.
The first time I remember meeting an angel was in 1994 when I was working at Churchill Downs. I arrived at work during Derby Week, and in the parking lot was a couple in their late 60s, just standing beside their car, smiling. It felt like they had been waiting for me. Al and Beulah had driven from Maine and were excited to know that they had arrived in time to see Louisville at such an auspicious time.
At the time, I was grieving the loss of my maternal grandmother, Gaga. Gaga and I had been very close, and losing her and living a long way from my family was weighing heavily on me. Seeing Al and Beulah and feeling their positive energies made me feel happy and at home.
I took them on a personal tour of the backstretch barns at Churchill, and introduced them to several Derby horse trainers and their charges. They were like wide-eyed deer, loving every minute of this adventure. It’s always the way the angels make you feel that you remember. And even after all these years, I still remember their angelic presence like a soothing balm.
Perhaps I remembered all of this because of the time when I was going through my Mom’s belongings and my own, and purging and packing up after her passing. I came across the thank you letter that Al and Beulah sent to me. Oddly, when I wrote to them later to ask if they would be returning to visit Louisville for the next Derby, I never got a reply. Attempts to contact them were unsuccessful; it was like they had vanished from the face of the Earth…. or perhaps never existed at all?
Just remembering the special times that I’ve felt the presence of angels is uplifting. Sometimes our lives are filled with times of upheaval, grief, or just feeling like things aren’t going they way we would like it to.
When you least expect it, the angels come and visit us, and leave our worlds a brighter place to be. They give us hope and strength to carry on in the face of challenging times. And remind us that living in the moment, and through our hearts, is always the right place to be.
“The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us
and we see nothing but sand;
the angels come to visit us, and we only know them
when they are gone.”
~ George Eliot
Featured photograph “Peace and Healing” by Teri Leigh Teed. This photograph is of the Monument to the Confederate Women created by sculptor Frederick Ruckstull, located on the south side of the South Carolina State House. The statue was erected in 1912 to honor the women of that time of great division in our country and is called “Angels of the Confederacy”. At the base of the statue is a poem which praises the women for their tender care, courage and unconquerable spirit. Thousands of people pass this statue daily, and most do not even see this beautiful work of art. Which ever side of the issue one takes; it is healing to remember all the women who have given birth to, raised, and lost their loved ones.
Almost a century passed from the time the “Angels” statue was installed, and then a new monument was added on the east side of the State House grounds. Created by sculptor Ed Dwight and dedicated in 2001, the African-American Monument is a memorial honoring the history of African-American men and women who lived in South Carolina from the time of their arrival during slave trade to modern age. It is time for the Great Healing, and artists and art can help create peace and wholeness.
Please listen to this song “A Candle for John”, for healing and remembrance. Lyrics and music by Teri Leigh Teed. This is the recording from the live debut performance of “Seasons of the South – The Original Home Grown Musical and Storytelling Show” which includes myself (mandolin/vocals), and East of West (Luke Williams, bass; Jim Thomas, dobro; Dan Rhodus, guitar; Fred Ogburn, percussion)
Have you met an angel? Please share your experience, and leave your message below.