Daylight had broken, and the dining room was now silent and glowing. Whatever had possessed the night air that filled the pink hued room, was now gone. Why was it was there to begin with? Was it desperation for the loss of love?
A long time has passed since the death of the old couple, that lived at Springside Hall for fifty years.
Mrs. Rayburn would play tango music daily on the old phonograph, and her husband would sit silently in the dining room bay window and smile. He could not dance, but some days he would come and take her hand and swirl her around the room.
Money was not in abundance, but they simply had each other. Each summer day he used to pick her one single pink rose as she so dearly loved those rose bushes that grew wild near her guardian angel within the trees.
Years passed by too quickly for them, and he ended up dying in his beloved bay window. Old, fragile, and now alone, Mrs. Rayburn was sent to the Almonte Senior Centre, and the home they had so lovingly shared was sold.
When we bought the house the dining room had acquired a chill in the air and plugs popped out of their sockets for no apparent reason.
The old fine porcelain doll now stood silently on a shelf near the window. Mysteriously her eyes exploded one day, never to gaze anymore. Instead of getting her fixed, I insisted she remain with no eyes, and gave her the name Helen Keller. After all, there was really no one else to watch, and what she saw all those years should remain silent and pure.You see, I feel her eyes broke as he wanted his presence known, because he knew I continually worried for his restless soul.
Hoping to give the room some closure, a call to Mrs. Rayburn was placed hoping she would come to tea and reassure “him” that all was well. Five minutes before she called to say she was too ill to come, all the radios in the house went crazy. Almost as quickly as the white noise flooded the house the sound mysteriously changed to bizarre tango music. The noise was deafening, when suddenly, all became silent and the phone rang. Mr. Rayburn knew the love of his life was going to call, and I think he wanted me to tell her how much he loved her.
After she died many months later, he did not come every day anymore. In fact, his visits were quite rare and unassuming. Yet, I still felt him from time to time, and sometimes sensed a gentle misty hand on my shoulder. It was almost like he wanted to dance. I figured he was hoping that he could find his beloved wife once again, and feel her soul in his heart. I knew they had not found each other until the other night.
The room was dark, and it was very late at night. The heat had driven me downstairs to get some water to quench my thirst. As I slipped quickly through the darkened dining room I saw them. The two ghostly lights were holding each other tight in the old bay window. I could swear they were tango dancing in the shadows. I knew they were finally together and at peace as they were now finally one.
Loving tranquility had finally come to the dining room at Springside Hall and to this day it remains.
Words and Images by Linda Seccaspina 2012
Springside Hall– The Morphy House
77 Lake Ave East,
Carleton Place, Ontario