Wednesday 29th July 1970
I was getting used to the buoyancy of being sustained by the air. It didn’t seem to take much effort and seemed to be as floating on water. Indeed it seemed natural for me to do a breaststroke motion rather than flap.
“ I still can’t believe I am here,” I say to Jesus.
“The last time I saw you I was five and you were wearing a white robe, you were white and had that mop of hair. Here you are Asian and wearing a suit as if you just came from work with an English accent.”
He shrugged and raised his bottom lip.
“I am what I am. I come in any shape, size and gender. I would have surprised you if I was a woman in a wheelchair!”
“The truth is as people’s minds expand with time they are open to new possibilities though not everyone can handle an open mind. Anyway, what did you want to show me?”
It seemed I had waited for this event as my mind immediately pictured the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.
“Jesus you know for the last 47 years I have religiously celebrated your birthday and read the story of your birth in Bethlehem. I have never been but it feels almost familiar. I have always wondered what my birth was like so I would like to go to Belfast and visit my stable.”
“ No problem. It has been a while since I was over that way though I remember the route.”
So many times I have traversed this landscape always taking the opportunity to look out the plane’s window. It always seemed like looking at a painting as I never saw it so neat and ordered from earth level.
Flying was amazing enough though it seemed we had also gone out of time as I recognise the people’s dress and the vehicles on the road as being of the seventies.
We hovered above and then he said, “Gordon the greatest thing may not be the flying but it may well be being able to go into a specific time and observe events that have happened. What you need to know is you will be an observer you will not feel but you will observe, you will not judge you will just understand.”
I inwardly checked would this be harder than pressing a button on a train and jumping into the air? “Well I am here now we may as well go to task.”
“Follow me!” he said to which I replied “ and I will make you fishers of men”. He raised his eyebrows and moved on. “Remember you will not be seen and you can’t interfere you are as a ghost.”
We descended into the building and found ourselves at an intersection the signs proclaimed North Ward and so forth. He chose the doors for East Ward. I could hear the Belfast accents and many of the older women were wearing headscarves.
We approached a private room. I saw the name ‘Baby Jackson’ on a sign on the door. I am thinking but I am not feeling. I know that is me. We go inside. I see me, the baby, in one of those hospital cots. My mother, younger than I had ever remembered her was sleeping. The pillows were supporting her. Her skin was so young and beautiful. I thought of the many mothers I have seen in my time and my mother just looked like them. The baby was n’t making any noise just looking peaceful as many babies do.
A bunch of flowers were in a vase. It was good to see that someone was celebrating my arrival.
Then I could hear my father’s voice he was laughing and commenting as he passed people in corridor. On entering the room he could see that both his wife and newborn son were asleep. He moved towards the baby lent into the cot and kissed it. He took off his coat and then I noticed a football scarf. It was the colours of my hometown, he had come from a football match. He sat down on a visitor’s chair and before long he was also asleep.
I said to Jesus, “ Thank you for bringing me here let them sleep they have a whole life ahead of them, certainly the baby.”
Jesus could tell it was a special moment I had never considered how normal it all was it could be any newborn baby with its parents even if it were in a stable.