A couple of YGS members were interested in my account of an incident I had with what I believe to have been an elemental or nature spirit--so here it is! This incident took place around eighteen years ago when I was thirty or thirty one.
At that time I was living with my wife in a coach house in the town of La Grange, Illinois. The coach house had, a hundred years earlier, been part of a large estate, with winding interconnected lagoons. Sometime in the early 1960s the larger property was rezoned and subdivided into four lots. The main house remains fronting one block while the coach house (on the next block) became two residences (my wife and lived on the second floor), a new construction next door and another house separating the coach house from the main house.
We lived in the house for twelve and a half years. One of the reasons we moved in was because of the heavily overgrown nature of the property. Surrounded by oak, maple and mulberry trees around the house and a large garden and greenhouse (part of the then still intact property of another estate on the other side of the house) it was in many was cut off from the world around it. Visitors often commented how it felt like a hidden garden.
The upstairs apartment was small but very cozy and there was a back room that had french doors that led out onto a small wooden balcony which overlooked the wooded back yard and the house that now separated the coach house from the main house. I would like to state at the outset that the following account is something that, up to now, I have never discussed with anyone besides my wife. Frankly, it is unique in the several unexplained paranormal incidents in my life. I realized while initially writing up my memories of the event that some may find it akin to an hallucination brought on by psilocybin but I certainly hadn't had any!
It was very late on a mid-summer night. Julie and I had had a few friends over earlier in the evening and after Julie went to bed I decided to step on the porch for a few minutes. I had had a few drinks during the night but nothing that would have caused what I would soon see. I sat down enjoying the night and the mild breeze that was stirring. After sitting outside for fifteen minutes or so my attention was drawn to a silver maple tree to the right of the balcony. The closest bows of this tree were ten or so feet away and there was only the slightest wind when suddenly a very leafy bow seemed to move forwards towards me within under four feet. I was transfixed on it, calm but I sensed something unusual was happening. A face made up of the green of the leaves was joined by ochre, sepia, umber and dark yellow. The colors seemed to emanate from the bow itself and, no better way to describe it, there appeared a round full face with a broad and full smile, equally smiling eyes, a small nose and ruffled hair around the forehead and the sides of the head.
A branch below this head extended towards me as an arm and hand would and I felt compelled to touch it. The smile on the face before me seemed to broaden further. I felt a rush of adrenalin and a strange sense of unity with something secret and beautiful when I extended my hand and touched the branch. It's important for me to emphasize that as striking as this event may seem while reading it, that it unfolded subtly when it occurred. Odd as it may sound, the way the face appeared came like the wind itself. It was very emotional and the atmosphere felt charged. Not with electricity but with a wild feeling of the interconnectedness of thoughts, emotion and for lack of a better word, souls.
The branch then retracted in unison with the face dissipating. I can't say there had been light emanating from the face but there was something about the colors it was comprised of that delineated it clearly. When it had vanished the night seemed as it had been before. Quiet with the lightest of breezes. I felt somehow revitalized and connected to a mostly hidden aspect of the world. I remember thinking for days after the occurrence that I wished everyone could experience the same thing. Something akin to the soul of a tree.