The gentlest ghosts I've ever run into have to be the animal spirits I've dealt with over the years.
The woods behind the house I lived in as a little girl was magical. In the summer it was densely green with moss, fat old leafy trees, may flowers and lush patches of purple violets. I used to go and pick bunches of violets almost every day.
On these little forays, I would often see these tiny little white wisps of something. When they'd zip past me barely touching my skin, I'd think of running up a tree and the roughness of bark; digging in the earth or curling up with a bunch of other tiny warm bodies and going to sleep. Sometimes I'd be a hunter stalking my food and eating it. Those violent images scared me at first, but I did know not everything could live by just eating berries and I came to understand the hunter spirits.
When I was around 7, I felt I was going to be so much braver than last summer start going further into the woods than the area just behind our house. Well, I picked my usual bunch of violets and started back in the direction I thought would take me back home. I was so wrong.
The trees and plants got more tangled and dense and the sun was barely visible through the canopy of trees. I panicked and started to cry. Suddenly I felt a light touch on my arm. I turned and saw one of my little wisps. It was one of my hunter sprits. I followed it over a fallen tree trunk, through a dense area of tall grass and May flowers. The trees started to thin and I could see the sun again. Looking carefully I could see a few wisps floating near an opening that lead to the edge of the wood. I had come out on the opposite side of the woods near my friend Vicky's house. I just had to go up the street in front of her house, cut through the high school's football practice field and I was just a short ways from a road that would take me to my street.
I ran all the way thanking my little wispy friends as I headed home.
The photos are ones MJ took of 2 of my rescue cats. Spats is the black cat and the other is Max Perkins.