“I am the Spirit of the Present. Hold onto my robe and we’ll travel together this Christmas morn.”
I am referred to as the Spirit of the Present, yet I do not come from the present. I have lived long ago in the time when men adhered to the ruling of the Catholic Church over that of kings. I was born in the Year of Our Lord, 1143 and died in 1193 on my journey home from the Holy Land.
I should have had a good life for I was born into privilege. I was the eldest of four sons. My father owned vast tracts of land in southern England and he was also a knight, renowned for his wealth and for his military prowess. I had everything. Since I was the eldest son, I eventually inherited my father’s lands, while his money was divided between my mother and his four sons upon his death. Yet, I lived a terribly miserable life.
Alfred, my youngest brother, was given to the monastery at the age of seven. The rest of us were trained vigorously in the art of warfare. I was knighted on the day of my fifteenth birthday. Two years later, I went with my father to the Holy Land. We traveled back and forth from England to our estate in Outremer until my brothers were well trained and of age to join us in the Holy Land.
My two younger brothers soon found ladies and were married in haste. Yet, I remained loyal to my knighthood status. I joined the Order of The Temple and rose through the ranks as all men marvelled at my military prowess. I became so entrenched in my duties to the Temple and to the defence of the Holy Land that I lost my soul. I became ill-mannered and hot-tempered. It did not take me much to lose my temper. Several times, I spilt blood in anger. Even my fellow men-at-arms feared me. I had no friends.
I fell prey to outlaws on my way back to England. They showed me no mercy. Neither did my men-at-arms to my greatest dismay.
One may wonder why I am so jolly much of the time and why God would give me a second chance after all I have done.
I was visited by Saint Nicholas in my death throes. He came to tell me that I had one last chance to renounce my sins. I did. But, I soon found out after I entered heaven that God had a special plan for me. I was to speak to the living who have chosen to walk the destructive path I have walked. Ebenezer Scrooge was one such individual.
Saint Nicholas was my patron saint in life and in the spirit world. I learnt so much from him. He taught me how to love and laugh. He also taught me that happiness is not for the faint hearted–a belief I’ve maintained in my years on earth. Happiness is what draws people together. It is what strengthens communities.
I do not live in remorse for the life I lived, rather I quickly forgot about my miserly earthly life. I’ve started anew and I look forward to living an eternal life of happiness with a mind at peace.
I believe my cheerfulness penetrated the thick fortress around Scrooge’s heart and, even though I showed him some things that pained him, I believe that he will change his life and his character for the better.