We watched this film last night on Netflix. I knew the title had some spiritual significance.
Alice is a reclusive writer, resigned to a solitary life on the seaside cliffs of Southern England while World War II rages across the channel. When she opens her front door one day to find she’s to adopt a young London evacuee named Frank, she’s resistant. It’s not long, however, before the two realize they have more in common in their pasts than Alice had assumed. Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Tom Courtenay star in this intensely emotional story of love’s endurance in trying times.Storyline from IMDb
Well, not exactly “adopt”, more like “foster”. But, let’s not quibble over semantics.
The story hinges on the research Alice was undergoing to show how mirages of far-off images can be seen above the waters of the English Channel. She was writing a thesis about it. Until Jack shows up.
Then they experience the phenomenon together, seeing Dover Castle on the hill, near where they live. This has been noted before:
Doctor Vince, on August 6, 1806, at 7 P. M., saw from Ramsgate, England, at which place only the tops of Dover Castle towers are usually visible, the whole of the castle. It appeared as though lifted up and bodily placed’ on the near side of the intervening hill. So perfect was this illusion that the hill itself actually could not be seen through the figure.Los Angeles Herald Volume 34, Number 293, 21 July 1907
These images are known as Fata Morgana. Here’s one from 1871:
This is important, because, on the day that Alice was told that Frank’s father had been killed in the war, Frank experienced his father trying to contact him from The Summerland. This was before anyone told him. Later, he saw an image of his father on top of a cloud, waving to him.
Scientifically, this can be explained (away) as ‘just’ refracting rays of sunlight, but to a young boy this would count for nothing. His father was saying hello from the ‘other side’ and that was enough for him.
A Glimpse of Heaven (from “A Way of Life in Two Worlds”)
Now I am going to try as best I can to tell you what my particular piece of Heaven is like. I cannot describe the piece of Heaven where your loved ones dwell, because I do not know it. There are so many outside my band who have got difference experience and have a different place to describe, who have a different work to do and who are living different lives. I wonder how you would describe the place where you live to somebody who had never been on the Earth? Well, I will go on and try and describe to you the place that I live in.
As you know, I have a particular work to do. I am in contact with thousands of people on the Earth-plane, and I have more than one million guides working for me, and with me. So perhaps my description is rather different from the descriptions you would hear from other spirits: I will be as brief as I can. I have seven still waters, and they are like seven large lakes, one above the other. I suppose there is about a mile between each of them. And all around them are green swards. These green swards are like and yet not like anything on the Earth. They are like the softest of green grass. If you trod over them they would take your footprints for a few seconds and then spring back into their ordinary shape again. If grass was made out of silk and was very green, more green than the greenest green you have ever seen, that would be like the green sward. It seems to have light in it. It is the only way I can describe it. […] The green sward sparkles with light and the waters are still. They are still and they are blue. There is a lake in Italy that is still and of the most beautiful blue. I know that lake. Well, the still waters are very like it, only still brighter and more blue than that. The Mediterranean blue? — no. Much more beautiful than that. They are round in shape. You often read about the ‘waters of life’, and ‘life-giving water’. Well, the green sward receives life from the still waters. They do not only just supply life to the green sward, they do much more than that. Then if you have eyes to see, you see millions and millions of little lights, almost like the light of glow-worms, and varying in size.
Well, now we will leave that place for a minute, and come to a very large, long narrow building. It is built mostly of white marble, and it is in the form of a Cross. If you were to enter the building, you would have to open the door, because if you were in that sphere that building would be solid for you, just as all those things are solid to us. If you pass into that building you will see row upon row of what you would think were dead bodies; that is what they look like, rather marble in colour. Some are very beautiful, some of them you would find distorted, some are ugly. Some of them look as if they are in pain; some look quite joyful; others looked shocked. They are newly dead. And you would see perhaps five or six hundred or even one thousand white-robed figures walking about in that place. And then again, if you had eyes to see you would see colours emanating from those bodies. Some are very grey, some are blue; some have a little gold in them, some are speckled. They are all different. And you would find that the white-robed figures were doing something to them, they would be making healing passes over these bodies. Some are working on the head, some on the feet and some on other parts of the body. As they work you see the colours vibrate until they become stable. When the colours have become perfectly stable, you would see two other figures with purple robes enter and take up this body and bring it outside, with a white-robed figure at the head whose robe was more shining than the others. They take the body, and lay it on the green sward and you see, as it were, a little light travelling towards the body. That light is the spirit. Then the soul-body and the spirit are re-united and walk away. “He shall resore my soul”. The soul has been restored to its spirit. That is one corner of Heaven.
Now let us walk on and away from that building. I know if you were there you would want to stay, because it is so interesting: it is so wonderful. It is permeated with love, and I can see you — as I have seen many others that have been through — raise your eyes to the Heaven above you and just say these words, “God is good”. Yes. You may not have believed much in God before, but you do really see God at work in that part of Heaven. When you have passed out of that building, you can see in the distance people passing backwards and forwards. And it all seems to be vibrating; it all seems to be very much alive. You can see great fields of flowers; and if you asked your guide: “What is that place in the distance very much higher up?” — he would say: “That is the Summerland, the Heaven of the children. That is the Heaven of the babies and the little ones”. And, of course, it would be full of love, it would be joyful and happy. There would be a tremendous amount of movement, and if you are privileged to see, you would see, not green swards but lilies being rocked, as it were, by an theric billow. And if you looked closely you would find babies lying in the rocking lilies. I wonder if you have reflected on why the lily is such as Heavenly thing? Well, how is it that it is looked upon as being a flower to put on Altars, at all religious ceremonies, at funerals, at weddings, and at christenings? There must be a reason why the lily has tha precious quality. Well, the reason is hat the Summerland has fields and fields of lilies. hey are rather like your arum lilies, no, not quie like them, there are different kinds used for different purposes. And out of the lily a spirit baby takes life. Oh, it sounds very fantastic, I know. It sounds quite impossible, but it is true.
That is only one little bit of the Summerland. You will see spirit-mothers, and some of you people, I expect, will be spirit-mothers some time. There are spirit-mothers watching among the lilies; and you see other children dancing, and you see them in processions, in their white frocks. Oh yes, they wear frocks in Heaven. And it is a joyful place. And the hands of many of those little children are often stretched forth to the Earth, “for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”. (pages 78-81)