The Spirit of Christoval
Well, things have quieted down at work so I might be able to relate my "other worldly" experience in something approaching a coherent manner.  If you're expecting Twilight Zone, stop right here since this is pretty mundane stuff.  Anyway, here goes:

I've actually had two experiences, both as a kid.  I guess we generally get too busy in our lives to notice subtle things as everything gets more complicated, which is a sad commentary in itself.  It was always the little things that fascinated me and wound up having such a profound effect.  I thoroughly enjoyed that, since so many others seemed to miss them.

Anyway, I don't remember exactly how old I was, but it was somewhere in the 8 to 11 or 12 year old range when this happened.  I've always had '”voices in my head”, but they've never been as profoundly accurate as this experience.

As a kid, I initially - and later my brothers - would go to what was then my aunt and uncle's ranch south of Christoval, Texas.  My uncle later became my step dad, which explains why I have such a hard time watching Hamlet due to the flashbacks.  But that's another story.  One of the things I loved to do was ride the old horses that my uncle kept around the ranch from time to time.  They were rarely ridden but were always gentle enough (read, old enough) for a kid to ride.  This one was an old white and grey gelding that we called Dobey.

My aunt and uncle's house was set in a thicket of live oaks, and at the time had a huge caliche circle drive in the front.  The entrance to the drive was a single gate in a wire fence that the horse and I were slowly approaching.  Don't remember if the cattle guard was there or not at the time.  The day was hot and I was somewhere in that “in-between zone” of awake and asleep as I approached the gate.  Dobey may also have been sleepwalking.  This is when a voice in my head came through as clearly as if someone was riding with me on the horse, and said simply, "One day you will live here."  I remember it to this day just as it was spoken.  It was a very quiet, calm, matter-of-fact voice that came through as if something like that happened every day.

Hearing the voice was surprising enough.  But the surprise of having my wish of all wishes "prophesied" to me out of nowhere, while eliciting excitement at first, ultimately elicited sadness with a little panic mixed in when I realized what something like that would likely entail.  I remember spending the rest of the day begging whatever it was that said that to me to take it back, but I never heard from it again.  The only way I could ever come to live there would be if something pretty bad happened to either one or both of my parents, or something similar along those lines.

As I said before, my uncle later became my step-dad.  A few years after that voice episode, my father developed a malignant melanoma and passed away when I was 13. 

I'd heard at one time that San Angelo was known for being the divorce capital of the world - or at least of Texas - back in the '70's.  So after being married to my aunt (Dad's sister) for nearly 20 years, my uncle divorced her, and a year or so later married Mom.  This led to a huge crap storm that didn't die down for a couple of decades.  My hopes - and fears - were realized in spades!  It was a long time before I heard anything on a regular basis from my dad's side of the family again.  I certainly enjoyed living on a ranch hunting and fishing as I wanted, but the price was a pretty big one.

Anyway, I've only heard "the voice" one more time…so far.  It must be some kind of mischievous spirit because the next time was so inconsequential that I wonder why it even bothered.

My oldest brother and I had been invited to spend a weekend with some family friends at their place on the Devil's River.  They had a simple hunting lodge/house that they used on weekends.  We were in high school at the time and were playing poker before we went to bed.  No real bets, just playing with chips.  The last hand that was dealt was a fairly good one for me, but I've never been very good at divining whether a hand was worth betting on or not.  Somewhere during that round, around the time to “put up or shut up”, the voice came back to me just as real as it had been some years before.  All it said was "you will win".  So I went all in, which pissed off my host's son even though he had enough to cover.  True to the voice's word, I did win the hand and that was it.

I’ve never heard from “the voice” again even though, most assuredly, there have been some times that I'd like to have heard from it just once more.  I guess my mind has become so addled with the messes that life hands you that I couldn't have heard it even if it used a bull horn.  There are very few times when the adult mind is quiet enough to hear something from the other side.  This past year, especially, has really taken any ability I may have had to allow that to happen.

I still enjoy sitting and watching life go on in the middle of a pasture.  But I guess whatever spirit tagged along with me back then - if it was just one - has moved on due to boredom, or it may have had another assignment handed to it.

I wish it would make another visit some time as there's quite a few questions I'd like to ask it ... like - WHY OBAMA?!?  

And why NOT Ron Paul???

About the Author:
Dana is a technology coordinator and engineer in the public school system.  When not working, he can be found tending to the goats and cattle at his ranch – and waiting patiently for the spirit of Christoval to re-emerge.

He lives in Texas with his wife and has two grown children.

Dana's Dogma...
Dobey Grey Mare
Poker Chips
Ron Paul