The Words of the Powell Family
Clanging reverberations carried by the air jolted several classes of eagerly expectant infant school students out of their chairs as an appointed teacher rang the old traditional hand-held school bell to signal the start of break time. I was among those students and this was the only scheduled opportunity we had between morning lessons to retrieve snacks from our lunchboxes which we kept under the bench in the other end of school.
Crossing the main hall on the way there an unusual phenomena, a gripping fear, prevented me from moving any further. Instantly, my heart rapidly beating, my breathing shallowed... my face became red and hot sweat drops seeped from my body while a double-direction condition confronted my inexperienced mind.
In addition and contrast to the powerful fear that consumed my bodily senses, a pure white cloud that felt like a truly loving father's love stood behind me. In an attempt to find answers to the questions I quickly had regarding my circumstances, and realising that if I can't move my body then I'll move my mind, I turned to the comforting white cloud for answers. It said to me to control my body using my mind and to start by controlling my breathing.
By this time all the other children were already sitting on the bench happily eating their mid-morning snacks. I glanced at them and perceived in their middle the strongest fear and I knew I had to go there. I had to sit in the middle of all the children and this made me very afraid. I did not normally feel this way but for some reason that I was unaware of I had to overcome this fear and my only source of strength was the white cloud that seemed in my heart to be peaceful, so I followed the directions it gave me.
I calmed my breathing which in turn relaxed my heart and slowed its rate, and then my face became less red as a result. However, as I took each step toward the children on the bench, the fear increased and I had to fight even more every step of the way. It was a constant battle between fear and peace and I had to invest to create the peace.
I eventually reached the bench and, thinking that if I'm going to do this I might as well do it properly; I sat right in the middle where I could feel the most fear emanating. I thought this would be better than just sitting somewhere on the edge where there wasn't so much of a challenge or victory.
As I sat there, my spine upright and eyes wide open staring ahead focussed only on one spot on the wall in front of me, I reached down to get a snack from my lunchbox that was under the bench where I was sat. I grabbed a sandwich and placed it on my lap, and then a beautiful horizon opened up before me: a single rolling hill carpeted in nicely trimmed and summer-smelling refreshing green grass. The sky was ocean blue with wisps of white cloud dotted here and there, and a scent travelled through my nose that reminded me of waking peacefully from a well earned sun-bathed mid-day nap under a cooling willow tree. Birds were singing in the air and trees; their beautiful songs resonating in my ears as if they were habitating there. Various animals such as sheep and giraffe were walking around joyfully embracing their natural environments, while blooming flowers attracted local pleasure embracing honey bees.
With my first breath I rose onto tip toes and floated the equivalent of step forward. Then with each subsequent breath I floated forward another step, up the hill until I almost reached the top. It was a blissful and peaceful experience. I was nearing the brow of the hill and anticipating what was over the side when I heard a female voice calling my name:
"James, where are you?"
I continued to the brow of the hill but I heard the voice calling my name again:
"Where are you James?"
All of a sudden I had returned to sitting on the bench in school and in front of me, a little to my right, was my teacher who was the one calling my name. Her attention had brought me back to school and I wished I'd seen what was over the other side of the hill.
She asked me:
"Where were you James?"
Why did she ask me where I was when plainly I was on the bench right in front of her? I was surprised that she asked me this question and I thought she probably recognised I was having some kind of spiritual experience. I almost felt understood enough to describe to my teacher where I was but then I thought she might not understand and, more importantly, I didn't want others to know, so I chose not to. I stood up and walked into the classroom without saying a word.