I don’t remember exactly when the universe or greater unknown began leaving me feathers, but I’m guessing maybe 20 years ago or so. I was still married then with young children……all made up of non-stop energy that left me little reprieve. And yet, I stole moments here and there, reading and studying. And better yet, when we traveled or did things as a family, I was able to enjoy walks or hikes in the woods, as well. In fact, I suspect that it was on one such hike that a feather first showed up at my feet….never realizing it would become a regular occurrence in my life and of personal significance and meaning.
It is said somewhere and believed by a few that finding a feather is an indication that one’s guardian angel is nearby. I’m not so sure about angels and the sort, but I have always taken the appearance of a feather as some sort of indication that I am in the general flow of things and exactly where I should be in the moment. It is, in this way, a form of magic to me…..in that the moment I tune into something greater or feel in tune with my inner self and voice, a feather will often present itself. But, allow me to give a couple of examples.
During a phone conversation with a potential romantic interest earlier this fall, I mentioned my feather messages. When I met him just a couple of weeks later and we took a walk in a park, he even got to see me receive a message first hand. Per usual, I was in my own little world….looking around….walking mostly where I wanted. I had decided very quickly upon meeting the person that I was not interested in him romantically, after all. And yet, I was making the best of the moment…..leaving myself open to unexpected gifts present therein. For, I have more recently found that when expectations or hopes don’t pan out, it’s only the powerlessness of our own will and desire that disappoints. We can choose to fight it….or we can surrender to it. It’s our choice. If we fight it, we never rest. We’ll always be fighting. If we surrender to it, we move in peace and harmony….and get to see the magic.
So there I was….walking. And there IT was…..a feather from a blue-jay. The person I had been walking with must have passed right over it, but in one blink of an eye, I had glanced down to the ground at my feet and there it lay…..perfect and beautiful. I pointed it out to the person I was with and I realized that it wasn’t until that moment that he really understood. Such is the way with otherworldly things…..
On another occasion, just a week before this past labor day, I experienced an equally special moment. I was out on a trail near Des Moines that I had hiked numerous times before when a new thought entered my mind about the birds, insects, and other life forms around me. When a human drives a car on a road constructed by others like him and a deer appears near or on the side of the road, the human often exclaims, “Look, there’s a deer!” to himself….and/or anyone else in the car with him. The same thing happens when one sees a deer in his/her backyard. In effect, we live in our own little worlds and habitats that we share, too, with other creatures. But when those creatures enter into the habitat in which we believe to dominate, it’s exciting (or sometimes it’s even scary, but exciting, nevertheless.)
When a human enters the habitat in which the natural world dominates, perhaps the same thing happens. The noises I hear as I cut a path across their roads and though their backyards are them exclaiming in their own language, “Look, there’s a human!” In this way, they too, gather to have a look….and tell stories about their encounter. And just like humans, some are too busy with the job of survival to even care. They see me, but they buzz by to the next flower…..like someone barely noticing the chatter of squirrels outside the kitchen window while making dinner.
But back to the story…
Just as I was enjoying the moment, immersed in their environment and mine and experiencing a sense of connectedness unlike I had ever experienced before…..I realized something that my son, Sean, would say just minutes later. “We are never going to be the summation of the universe as individuals.” He would say these words, in fact, because I thought to call him in that moment and share my experience, but he called me. And just as I answered the phone, amazed at the synchronicity of the call, a particularly unique and large feather (from a bird of prey, perhaps) appeared before me on the trail.
Such is the way with otherworldly things…
3 thoughts on “Otherworldly things…”
A beautiful thought/story/practice…Do you have any memories of how, or how long ago, this started? A lifelong friend of mine counts cardinals among her harbingers of transcendence. Together, she and I have a habit of capturing meaningful, fleeting sparkles as they appear and sharing them with each other. Here’s a pair that visited me a couple months ago: https://www.instagram.com/p/CYmM-Q_LEnr/.
Not positive when it started, but was likely around the turn of the century. How wonderful your friend finds the same in Cardinals. Crows have also been a thing for me since December 2020.
You also remind me of this gem from Annie Dillard…
“The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But — and this is the point — who gets excited by a mere penny?
“It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won’t stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days.”