Friday night I stayed up late by Samoan standards watching movies and pondering my time here. Just before midnight, I called it a night and crawled into bed. As I was drifting off to sleep however, I was surprised by a strange sound coming from up the road a ways. I checked my clock and noticed the hand had just struck midnight. I was puzzled at the hauntingly beautiful sounds of choir music so late at night but I rationalized that a late night church service must be underway, as the music seemed to be coming from the direction of the Catholic Church. There were no other sounds in the village, not even a barking dog or a grunting pig, and I reached for my ipod to try to capture the late night musical treat, however, just as I did, the voices faded and once again all was quiet and still in the village. I drifted off to sleep and thought nothing more of the event.
The next afternoon one of the pastors of the village stopped in for a visit, and after hanging out for a while, I remembered the voices of the night before. I asked him if there was a holiday or some special service I had not been aware of, and went on to explain the music I had heard. He laughed and told me it was probably just a radio. I smiled at his thought, but assured him that I had heard actual voices here, not from any radio or TV. Then his face turned serious and he told me that he and his wife use to hear the hymns when they first moved to this village. He told me I had heard the spirits, which travel late at night down the empty river to the sea in those late hours. I tried to call his bluff, assuming he was just trying to scare me, but he was insistent that I had heard the singing spirits. His parting advice to me was not to worry. He said it was a rare treat to hear such music and that he wished he still heard them as often as he used to. He said not to dwell on it, and savor the memory of the sound.