Now we have all, or at least most of us, grown up with the concept of guardian angels. When I was small my mother taught me to pray to my guardian angel each night for protection., which is how we tend to think of them. It is even in the name ‘guardian angel’: they are there to guard us. This, however, is something of a misnomer, or so I have come to discover. Your guardian angels—and you will likely have more than one of them—are really your companions on the way. They are there not just to protect you from the bogey-man but to give you other aid and assistance. How do I know this? Well to put it simply I have had experience of them.
Of course if you don’t believe in angels and regard belief in them them as nonsensical as the Tooth Fairy or Father Christamas, that is alright by me. I am not out to convert you to anything but simply to share experiences with friends. So sit back, relax, put to one side any angry memories of being bible-bashed at school or church and just enjoy the story I am going to tell you.
I had met an angel before (I will write about this one day but not here as it is not appropriate) but it was in Sweden that I first became truly aware of how they will work with us if only we leave room and let them. It was the summer of 1971 and I had recently left University. So too had my Jewish friend David. He was friends with a budding artist and his Swedish girl-friend. She was very beautiful, in a Scandinavian way and came from a wealthy background. Her home town was Uppsala, a University city that is the Swedish equivalent of Oxford or Cambridge, lying some miles to the north of Stockholm. When she heard that we had never been to Sweden, she suggested that we visit Uppsala, where her friends would make us most welcome. How could we refuse?
I won’t bore you with the details of how we got there or the many adventures we experienced both in Uppsala itself and on route. However we both became aware of an almost god-like ‘presence’ that seemed to be looking after us. When we needed somewhere to live, places to stay turned up. When we needed money, we were given jobs in a women’s boutique. It didn’t matter that neither of us spoke Swedish, had any shop experience or indeed any understanding of ladies’ fashions, we were given the job and somehow made it work. We also made many friends from the University including, it has to be said, girl-friends.
Eventually the time came for us to move on but first we wanted to see the North of Sweden, about which we had heard a lot. We decided to hitch-hike there, a distance of about 725 miles or 1200 kilometers. Again we were aware of divine protection as we travelled almost as fast as if we had been driving our own car. We were literally getting out of one car and into another with very short periods when we had to stop. At one point our next lift was already waiting for us. As we got out of one car, so a guy parked a hundred yards in front beckoned us over. He dropped us north of the Arctic circle, on the road to Kiruna.
This was a little bit scary as there were rumoured to be bears in the vicinity. Of more immediate concern was that it was early September and we had not factored into our calculations that winter comes early in the Arctic. There was frost on the ground, some snow flakes in the air and we were still dressed in the summer clothes we had brought with us from England. It was also dark. Fortunately we did not freeze to death. Although there was almost no traffic on the road, a lorry came along. The driver spoke no English (a rarity in Sweden) but he intimated that if we would get water from a nearby stream with which to top up his radiator, he would give us a lift into Kiruna. We did as bidden and soon found ourselves huddled up in his warm cab.
In all it had taken us less than 24 hours to get there from Uppsala. I am telling you this because both David and I were conscious of the fact that we were being guided and looked after. It was not so much a question of us having to find lifts as them finding us. Of course we had to do the sensible things, like picking good spots, making sure we looked presentable and so on. But this was still very good going for two guys hitching together. We even had lifts from women, which is something you would not normally expect but they too seemed to know intuitively that we were not a threat and indeed agreeable company.
So that was my introduction to the world of guardian angels. It was not to be my last. A couple of years later, I found myself in San Francisco, or Cupertino to be more precise. I had been in Oregon and was not yet ready to go home to England (I have described my journey home from LA in another blog post). In Cupertino I was staying in an apartment, with its own swimming pool, along with a few other guys one of whom was also British. We were ‘house sitting’ for the realtor uncle of two of my American friends, a situation that suited all of us perfectly as we could use the pool while not having to pay any rent.
I loved ‘Frisco and, as you can imagine, had a great time there. Then one Saturday one of the guys suggested we go partying at a club he knew. Someone had bought a bottle of tequila and so, to get us in the mood, we started taking shots. Now I had never drunk tequila before and had no idea how strong it is. Very soon I was floating, not so much drunk as high as a kite. Unfortunately, so too was our driver: one of the brothers who were nephews of the realtor, and to make matters worse, he had borrowed his brother’s car without permission.
The club turned out to be a longish drive down a freeway and then we turned off on a small road, not much more than a dirt track, that went into a wooded area. How we didn’t have an accident on the freeway I don’t know. The driver was well over the limit and the car was wandering all over the road. All the time I was conscious of something or someone watching over us and though drunk myself, I prayed that we would arrive in one piece. Well we bumped along the side-road for about a mile and then for some reason the car skidded and came to a stand-still. One of the tyres had come off its wheel-rim and there was no spare on board. So there was nothing for it but to try to hitch a ride to the club.
This was not such an easy task as there were at least four if not six of us crammed in that car, a Volkswagen Beatle as I remember. Anyway, somehow we managed to get there and somehow we later managed to get a ride back to Cupertino. Exactly how, I have no recollection. Anyhow, the next day, the Sunday, I had a humdinger of a headache and so too did the previous night’s driver. We had a problem, though, and that was we needed to retrieve his brother’s car pronto as he needed it the next day. We drove out in a van and eventually found the car where it had skidded off the side of the road. What was most scary though, and what I hadn’t noticed the night before, was that barely some fifty years further the side of the road was a steep drop. Had we gone off there instead of where we did, we would all have been killed. It may have been inconvenient our stopping like that but it was fortuitous and I believe this was done by our guardian angels The made sure we went off the road in a safe place. They knew some of us had important work to do in this world that must not be prevented by the folly of youth..
In my next blog-post I will tell you about what I have since discovered about the angelic worlds and who your guardian angels actually are.