I was standing on the back porch of the Gallia County Farmhouse talking with my step-grandfather Clarence. I looked down where the old milk house used to stand and saw the old shed still standing there.
I was surprised to see that the old shed had apparently been converted into the entrance of a mine. Clarence began explaining that he had dug a mine there and pointed out what appeared to be metal scaffolding. The scaffolding consisted of small pipes of perhaps a centimeter in diameter connected together in a structure about three meters tall.
I walked to the bottom of the hill and more closely examined the pipes and the entrance to the mine. Clarence accompanied me and explained that the mine was flooded and he was unable to get the water out. Apparently he had a pump, but he wasn't allowed to pump out the water because it contained what he called "surrey." If the surrey flowed into Symmes Creek, it would contaminate it.
I found a valve and began turning it. It made a noise and I feared I had turned it on so that water was flowing into the mine. I turned it the other way and a bit of black water began running out. I couldn't seem to make it stop and left it running, even though I was afraid it would contaminate the creek.
I looked up at the large hill behind the old milkhouse and was utterly astounded at what I saw. The hill had split into parts and all the parts had sunk considerably so the hill was much lower than it used to be. Large crevices had been formed between the new sections of the hill.
Clarence spryly jumped down from a platform he was standing on and came over to talk to me about the hill. I continued looking in amazement and saw sheer brown cliffs where the hill had parted. I recognized one object toward the top of a cliff as the roots of a tree which had been left exposed by the cleavage.
I imagined what it would be like to climb the hill. Certainly it would be dangerous. I pictured in my mind climbing with friends to the summit and looking over the other side. There we might find a sheer drop-off for hundreds of meters. It would be exhileratingly exciting.
As I imagined it, I found myself actually on top of the hill looking down. I was frightened and my friends wanted to go back down.
But suddenly I lost my fear. At the bottom of the cliff I saw a pile of what appeared to be small white pebbles. I jumped, sailed through the air and sank into the pebbles. I was unharmed, but it suddenly occurred to me that if the pebbles had been bits of glass I would have been severely cut.
I returned to myself back on the ground and was still looking up at the hill. I had only imagined being up on top.
With me was a friend who reminded me somewhat of my brother Chris, although I couldn't tell whether he was in a wheel-chair. He had whitish blond hair cut in a modish fashion (short and sticking out) and was probably in his late teens. I very much enjoyed his company.
Nearby I noticed some white columns which apparently had once been part of a building which long ago had fallen down. Some words were at the top and I deciphered one which was "Olney," the name of a town.
My friend and I walked over to the crevices in the hill and into one. The ground was carpeted in a red, oriental type of carpet. Rolls of old red carpet were also stacked against the hill's side, which looked more like a wall than the side of a hill. It was peaceful here.
I turned around, my friend had disappeared and another person was now here. I couldn't quite see him but knew him very well. He was an elderly man, a sort of grandfatherly figure. He was dressed in white and I pictured him with white hair and a white beard.
He spoke to me in reference to my friend and explained how that while I had been away my friend's behavior had improved. He feared my return would cause my friend to revert to a less satisfactory way of life.
But he indicated I could have a beneficial influence on my friend if I wanted. His words were, "Perhaps the way for you is guidance and not friendship."
The words were particularly poignant. I immensely enjoyed my friendship. I realized the old man was possibly right and I could guide my friend if I wanted. But I felt to do so would mean sacrificing our friendship which I valued so dearly. I didn't feel prepared to be a spiritual guide and I only wanted friendship.
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