There was a picture of a guardian angel at my elementary school. A little boy was kneeling, hands together, eyes closed, at his bedside and the angel stood behind. When I was small I’d sometimes open my eyes when praying and glance over my shoulder. If I positioned myself just right, with the mirrored wardrobe in front, that should make it easier to see my angel. But no matter how I tried, I never succeeded. That’s okay, I told myself; he doesn’t want to be seen. He just wants to know I believe in him. So I believed, as surely and deeply as I believed in Santa and the tooth fairy.
Actually, I had a bit of a problem with fairies. Angels were part of religion you see, so I knew they were real, and I knew they were big, like grown-ups. I wasn’t entirely sure about the whole wings thing since Abraham mistook his angels for people in the desert. Friends said real angels keep their wings under their robes, but wings are big. Other friends suggested they could make the wings invisible, but that didn’t explain how they got their robes on over them. Fairies, meanwhile, were uniformly small and always wore wings, at least till I was older. But somehow both had pride of place at the top of a Christmas tree.
My family solved the Christmas tree problem by putting an ornament—kind of like a minaret—up there instead. But there was still the fact that I was as likely to call the herald announcing Christ’s birth a fairy as I was an angel. And my teachers didn’t like it!
There are lots and lots and lots of angels in the Bible. Some have names, like Michael, who fights for his people Israel. Others are cherubim (not to be confused with stone cherubs in church, I was told) and seraphim, six-winged, two-winged, un-winged, alone and in armies, all sorts of them. I learned how we mortals are privy to mysteries that angels long to see—yet angels seem privy to everything and sent out as messengers. It’s very confusing.
And then there are the Nephilim, who might be angels or giants; and fallen angels who might be demons perhaps… It’s no wonder there are so many angels wandering through literature now. Meanwhile, the little girl who wanted to see her guardian angel grew up. I think he must have found me a difficult assignment.
When I started writing Flower Child, our Bible study group had just begun a book on angels. So there it was, in black and white, people don’t turn into angels when they die. Not even children? Not even unborn children? Of course, my real question wasn’t really about the angels so much as the kids. When does the unborn child become a person? When does he get his soul? And what is a soul?
I guess I might as well ask when angel get their wings, but Flower Child grew and my little unborn Angela made her own path, guarded by angels, loved by her mother, and longing to find out just who, and what she was.
About Flower Child: When Megan miscarries her first pregnancy it feels like the end of everything; instead it’s the start of a curious relationship between the grieving mother and an unborn child who hovers somewhere between ghost and angel. Angela, Megan’s “little angel,” has character and dreams all her own, friends who may or may not be real angels, and a little brother who brings hope to her mother’s world. But Angela’s dream-world has a secret and one day Angela might learn how to be real.
Where to find Flower Child:
On the publisher’s website: http://gypsyshadow.com/SheilaDeeth.html#Flower
On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Flower-Child-ebook/dp/B005PGMT4O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317398482&sr=8-1
on Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91467
About the author: Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States with her husband and sons, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories, running a local writers' group, and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.
Sheila describes herself as a Mongrel Christian Mathematician. Her short stories, book reviews and articles can be found in VoiceCatcher 4, Murder on the Wind, Poetic Monthly, Nights and Weekends, the Shine Journal and Joyful Online. Besides her Gypsy Shadow ebooks, Sheila has several self-published works available from Amazon and Lulu, and a full-length novel under contract to come out next year.
Find her on her website: http://www.sheiladeeth.com
or find her books at: http://sheiladeeth.weebly.com
Erin O'Riordan's review of Sheila's Refracted