A ghostly knocking at my door.

A spirit came knocking at my door the other night. Twice it knocked – five raps each time. And then it sat its misty, transparent, ethereal self down on a chair just outside the door, awaiting my answer. I saw it through the window.

It was well within the bewitching hour – between midnight and 1:00 a.m. I was reading in bed with a small lamp – the only light burning in the house. Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap … it seemed to come from the front door. But it was soft, hesitant, and I couldn’t be sure. Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap … it rapped again. As if it wanted to know if I were up and would come to it – but didn’t really want to bother me, if I happened to be asleep.

I turned off my reading lamp and slipped from my bed. Tiptoeing barefoot to the front door, I peeked through the small window opening at the top. I saw no one beneath the porch light. But deep, black, hard-edged shadows flanked the entrance on both sides, as well as dropping off the bottom of the stairs. Anything might have been hidden within them.

On silent toes again I crept through the pitch-dark house, making my way to the back door – the floors creaking along behind me like timid complaining friends in my wake. I was glad I know this house so well that I can walk it in the ink of night and never miss a turn, and jog around the bits of furniture jutting out their pokey fingers and sharp corners. Cats, however, are another matter. And one raced across my bare toes with alacrity at this midnight, secret expedition.

The back entrance, too, was alight with a porch lamp, and multiple windows face out onto the steps and beyond. And there I saw the outline of a figure resting on one of a pair of chairs nestled at the edge of creeping ivy and low flowering bushes. The apparition – for it could not be considered anything solid ­– seemed to hover over the seat of the chair – at once both dark and light, shifting gently with the currents of the night, yet waiting quietly all the same. I wondered if it could see me through the windows as well. It made no sign, if it did. Although I think perhaps it wanted to whisper something to me, and waited out of sheer southern manners for me to make the first acknowledgement. I did not.

I watched it for a while, hiding myself well back in the darkness of the room. The dog came to stand at my side. I questioned him closely as to why he did not bark. I challenged him to go outside and see what it was. But he yawned and reminded me he is blind and could not see anything anyway. I know dogs are all about the “energy” of a person or place or thing. And the “energy” of this being seemed to be of no concern to either the dog or cat. The cat was now fully into the game and dancing across chairs and tables and behind curtains. So much for secrecy. The dog went back to bed. So, I did, too.

In the bright morning sun, there was no physical evidence of my ghostly visitor. But upon researching the meaning of such spirit visitations – and unexplained door knocking in particular – especially five raps at a time – I found referenced the message of “change” repeated over and over. In one source, it even went so far as to say: “buckle up and hang on … a wild ride of change is coming.”

While I found that to be a bit startling, I took comfort in the words of writer Eckhart Tolle who once said: “Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” And I suspect we all look forward to that sort of change … like the emergence of spring and butterflies, foals and puppies, new loves and great adventures, new pictures to be painted and new stories to be told – and a sun emerging to erase the last vestiges of shadows left behind by ghostly visitors who come knocking quietly at the door in the middle of the night whispering messages of change.

And so, perhaps I’ll simply buckle up and whisper back … “bring it on.”