The Autumn breeze stirred ’round her neck as she walked through the woods. The moon shined brightly as cicadas, owls, and whippoorwills sang into the evening. Jesse followed their rhythms. It was as if they were a jazz trio playing in an outdoor venue; bottles of red and white wines placed in picnic baskets along with various cheeses and meats. Women dressed in soft sheer dresses as their men poured glasses to guests seated with them under the stars; Jesse had a vivid imagination.

She kept walking under the darkening skies. All day long the young woman had done nothing but slept. She hadn’t eaten, or, had any coffee. Just woke up in the evening time with one thing on her mind; get to the forest. Let the spirits guide you.

There was no doubt that she was in one of her depressions. She really didn’t want to do anything but stay in bed and dream. It was out of necessity that she got out of bed and headed out to her magical place. So she walked along the path by the light of the moon. She could hear the stream slapping rocks while she waited for a ghost to appear. Some friendly spirit to talk to about her troubles in life. Jesse honestly got more out of talking to the spirits than she did from talks with her analyst. She listened to the spirits. Was honest with them. They made her feel free to discuss anything. The same could not be said for the psychologist. There was a wall there between them. A wall where honesty could not break through. A completely disheartening affair. These bi-weekly sessions left her more depressed than when she walked in. Whereas the talks with the spirits placed her in a mood of understanding. Belief in magic calmed the voices in her head quite a bit. A voice, her own voice. Speaking to her in a whisper. Sometimes the voice told her to kill herself. Other times the voice talked to her about drinking. Drinking for long periods of time. Forgetting her troubles for the time being and caving into another world. An unhealthy world. A dark place. One she would have to crawl out of.

And the spirits. Always spoke to her of kindness, generosity, they spoke to Jesse with words of love. The spirits dissuaded her from taking her life. They encouraged her live freely. So, when she could, she listened to the spirits.

There were three ghosts that talked to Jesse. Surrounded by tall oaks and pines, the spirits met with the brown eyed woman in a one on one manner. They never came to her as a group. Always as individuals.

The spirit she met with on this night was an old ghost, a farmer who tilled this land years ago by horse. His was a common sense approach.There was no wall.

Jesse spotted him under the maple tree carving an apple. The first time she’d seen him he was smoking a pipe. However, he was always under that purple maple. Always ready to talk.

You look like you been in a world of trouble, the ghost said to her as he took a slice of apple and offered her a piece. Been sad lately have ya?, she nodded her head yes. Why’d ya take so long to come and talk with me ’bout it, Jesse shrugged her shoulders. Have a seat.

She sat down in the cool pile of leaves under the tree. He bent down in a squat position. What seems to be the case?, he asked.

Same as always. I just get so sad, she said. And I think negatively. I do stupid things.

Like what?

Like run down a highway naked.

You don’t say. I never figured you one to do that. But, let me ask ya. Was there a freedom in it?

There was. I felt like for a brief time my sadness was gone.

Still taking that medicine?

Yes. It helps. Not as much as talking out here does, but, it helps.

The old ghost started to turn and walk away. She asked him where he was going? Nowhere, he replied. Nowhere. Listen to me young lady. Soon your life will be over. In a flash you’ll move onto the next life. Take your time. Don’t do anything rash, he smiled. I’ll see you around kiddo, and he blew her a kiss.

And, the song of the cicadas grew louder. So did the bass notes of the owl. And, the whippoorwills hummed along as the moon shined down on all.

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