A few years back, I was doing some work in the garden. It was three years ago as I remember, mid February to mid March and around about 8.30 in the evening. At that time of year, it gets dark early on here - before 6pm, probably sooner. I was doing some digging, adding some sand and some bought in compost to the soil. My ground is fairly heavy clay and it needs a lot of grit added, so I had bought some sharp sand and some mixed compost - I was buying a couple of truck loads a year as I had not put the effort into collecting stuff to make compost for free - I had not long had my truck then anyway. I was working late as it was the first bit of good weather in the year and I wanted to get my seed bed prepared and the soil settled before putting in some seeds.
I was double digging the soil - where you dig a spade deep and remove the soil in a trench, then dig a spade deep again and remove the soil, then use a fork to break up the sub soil. On putting the soil back in the trench, I was adding quantities of sand and compost to help open up the hard clay. Do a trench a time across the garden, keep it nice and have good deep soil. It does take years, lots of grit, organic matter and shit loads of digging to improve clay, but it is the best thing to start with as it holds nutrients so well. I am quite a physical guy so the digging does not bother me so.
Whilst digging in the dark, I saw something - I would not say it was a beam of light, but it was light - like it was being emitted from something only a couple of feet from me, like a cluster of stars 3-6 foot from the ground. Not any particular shape. I saw it a few times, and at first, disregarded it, thinking it to be down to hard work, or a reflection of a house or street light on my glasses, but I saw it in to many places and over such a period of time that I had to accept the original thought that occured, that it was some kind of spirit.
I also think my Father thought it special as his Grandfather had been a Victorian gardener and had passed on his skills and knowledge to my Father from him being a young boy - something he did not do with his other Grandchildren so much.
Now, I am a tuned in person - so much so that quite a number of years ago I undertook a fuck off attitude to this kind of thing - I did not want random spirits trying to get my attention to get some message across to some one still alive. I have seen enough of such things not just so I believe in them, but accept they exist - that might seem crazy, and if you think it is, thats cool. As I said, I have seen enough to know, so it matters not what others think.
I kept on digging and as I was adding some store bough compost, I heard a voice - when a spirit speaks, it is not so much a like normal speaking - you hear the words in you mind but they do not move the air. This is what I heard - although it was accented, the words were:
'You daft bugger, what are you wasting you money on that stuff for when you could make your own.'
It was familiar, but unfamiliar in voice - no one I knew, but like some one who was close to me.
I told my Father about this a few days later, leaving out the accent and how I had felt close to this spirit and he laughed and right away said it would be my Great Grandad XXX. He was completly sincere about it, no taking the piss, and I think he was proud his Grandfather - a man who died decades before I was born - had come to watch what I was up to - and particularly come to watch something I enjoy, my Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather and so on so back enjoy - tending the land.
My Father had learned growing and husbanry of land from his Grandfather and Father - he had other brothers and my Great Grandfather had many grandchildren, however, out of all of them, my Father was the one that was given the knowledge - the others were involved in the labour of it, but my Father was given the knowledge. I think it made my Father proud that this man, or his spirit had sought me out to lend a guiding hand.
I accepted that it was my Great Grandfather - it made sense that it would have been him and I knew it was some spirit. I had been expecting him to come by again, and he did today.
I have been building a shed - with help from my Father. I could have bought one, but for the price of a decent one for the size I want, I could have bought a nice car for my wife - albiet a 7-10 year old car, but something decent. Maybe it is the Yorkshire in me, but fuck spending money that does not need to be spent. I have been collecting pallets and stripping them for a couple of months to get the timber to make the shed. I have had to buy some timber - long spars of 3x2 and 5x3 for building the frame, but the timeber for the pallets will form the majority of it.
We built the base last weekend - fully boarded pallets for the floot, screwed to 3x2's to form the floor, built on brick piers to keep it off the ground. The underside has been treated with used engine oil that I have saved from oil changes on my truck on on my Dads car. Its a pretty solid base. My Father had asked me to ge some more wood from the wood yard for roof joists, which I was going to do Saturday AM, but I took a half day at work today and went to get them early this afternoon, rather than risk sleeping to late tomorrow and the wood yard being shut - its only open a couple of hours on a Saturday morning.
On getting these spars, we made a start and got the frame up. Took about 3 hours, which was good, being that the plans were in our heads and had only been comminicated verbally and we had to make a shit load of measurements to check spacings on timbers.
The first oddish thing was him asking about a certain pallet - he asked how long the timbers were on it and I said 6' 7 3/4'' - I had never measured them, but could see they were that leangth. When I did measure them a few hours later, I was cock on. Not such a biggy as I do have an eye for such things - you would know what I mean if you fabricate a lot of things.
We had got the best bit of the frame up and we needed to make some markings. I had given my Father a pencil for marking - if you know what a technical drawing pencil is, it is one of those - plastic bodied thing, twist it to make the lead extend. He had asked once before where it was when we were building - he thought he had lost it. I asked him to do a 360 spin for me so I could check his ears, pockets, etcetera - it was in his pocket - he had felt his pocket (we were both wearing Army combats, so lots of pockets).
Later on, he 'lost' it again. I got hm to 360, he patter down, checked his ears, his hat, I checked me and 360's for him to check me. We cleared the floor of the shed of tools to check for it, I looked under the shed, all over the place and he stood there getting pissed the pencil had gone walkies. I then made him check his pockets again, no joy, I then checked the tops of the timbers again to see if he had put it there, he had not. Made him take off his hat and glasses to see if it was jammed anywhere - it was not.
Fuck it, I would have to go up to my house and get a sharpie.
I told him to roll us a couple of smokes and pour some tea from the flask. As he turned, the pencil was on his ear. It had not been there. I mean, the thing is made so you can see it - a colour of yellow you could not miss - designed so you cannot lose it.
We both knew what had happened, but I said it. You know who is here, dont you?.
He gave me the look to say, fuck, we are being watched and being messed with.
The shed is in the same place my compost heaps were, not more than 10 foot where I had been digging a couple of years ago and saw what I saw. We just laughed and felt the love that you feel when some one who has been close who has passed has come for a visit. We just accepted it, but it was a brilliant thing to share with another person - that some one had come back to care for you, even tho they had played a little trick on you.
My Father put his Granfathers playfulness down to the fact that we had not used any joints but butt joints - I explained that in my Great Grandfatehrs day, day, they did not have battery drill and turbo screws for joining timber and so had to rely on well cut joints. Dad laughed, undestanding why his Grandfather had visited but also accepting that we did not need to cut intricate joints if we used drivers and modern screws.
It is a very comforting thing to have some one come back and question what you do, only for it to be validated.
Ancestors - very accepting - do not be afraid of them presenting themselves to you. Its very much a comfort. Believe a little, see a lot and then you will undestand that they are just looking out for you.