When I was around 6 years old, there was a tremendous storm. I lay in bed listening to the thunder and rain. I liked it and felt excited by it. I watched the lightning through a window directly across from my bed. It was a powerful display of light and sound. But suddenly, lightning struck just outside my window. The room lit up in blinding white light. The light was so brilliant that I was blinded for some time. Then as my sight returned, everything had changed.
I could see small creatures all over my bedroom floor. They were very small and hairy. I suppose they could be described as impish and didn't seem very friendly. In fact, they scared the heck out of me. I wanted desperately to get out of my room, but couldn't step on the floor because of all the creatures.
I stood on my bed and decided I'd jump across the floor hoping to land in the hallway. It was a big leap for such a small girl. I was afraid to jump. I tried to yell out for my parents, but no sound would come from my throat. This made me even more scared. So, I finally took the leap, landing just short of the hallway. I ran to the living room where my parents were and tried to tell them what had happened. I had found my voice, but I couldn't describe what had happened. They told me to go back to bed and it would all be gone in the morning.
I turned back down the hallway and approached the door of my room. There were the creatures. They were everywhere. There wasn't even a small path for me to walk on. So, I took small steps and dared to step on them. But they disappeared as my feet came down. I made it to my bed, crawled in and watched these odd creatures. Eventually, they started to disintegrate. Like a slow fade in a movie. Once they were gone, I fell asleep.
My life was never the same after that. I continued to see beings and creatures that others didn't see. I quickly learned to keep it to myself. It seemed to scare everybody else. But I became used to it. I learned to observe and connect the actions of these creatures with various outcomes. If they were agitated I knew trouble was coming. If they were just milling around, I knew things would be OK. My world was very simple back then. It was either good or bad.
As the years went by, I began to take comfort in seeing a variety of "unseen" beings. I saw fairy people, little people, elves, and all sorts of creatures. No harm ever came to me. It seemed I was protected. Then I started to see ghosts and this was actually a very pleasant experience. At least I could talk to these beings. And then there were the angelic ones. Especially, a lady dressed in blue. Her dress and cloak were very long and the same shade of pale blue. She glowed all over her head and hands. It seemed she was always praying or deep in thought. I was always comforted by her presence. She has remained with me to this day.
Later in my life, I was trained as a person who has "Ghost Medicine". Ghost medicine doesn't mean only ghosts, you are required to be able to speak and translate from any of the numerous "unseen beings". The most common in Lakota are: Ghost (Wanagi), Fairies (Gimmimila Wakan), Little people (Oyate cicala) and Helper Spirits (Tunkasila). I find it most interesting that almost all cultures around the world have the same sort of beings, just with different names. In Lakota it is said: 'We are all related" (Mitakuye Oyasin).
Paula Bidwell of NativeTalismanArt.com