All my life
I’ve wanted to see an owl. Not behind glass, not in cage, but an owl in the wild, just standing there, all tall and stately, being wise and wonderful.
There’s a park I go to in the early morning, when the birds are the first ones awake and the air is clear and clean. In the sun they’re singing, winging their way from treetop to treetop, calling out and finding each other, chasing and ducking and diving through the air. In the rain they’re tucked onto the branches beneath the pine needles and the leaves, hopping and floating, chirping quietly.
On this particular morning
it had rained in the night. Not enough so that everything was dripping–that slow, moist drip where when you step back and look you can see the droplets evaporating off the branches. It had rained just enough that each blade of grass had a dew drop on its tip, tiny universes within a universe, a globe within the globe. The birds this morning were still, tucked under the canopy, sometimes chirping, mostly silent.
I had stepped one foot onto the grass, was about to land the other when I felt a distinct pull: sit down.
It wasn’t a spot I would usually sit in–too exposed to anyone passing by, not tucked up with my back against a tree trunk, feeling its strength through my spine.
I cast about a couple times, looking for another spot, but the direction remained the same: right here.
So I sat down,
right there on the grass, dew drops wet against my shins, trees breathing in and out around me. I sat there and just noticed. The blades of grass were blunt beneath my palm, the air was moist with the memory of raindrops, the sky was softly grey.
Then I looked up.
Right in front of me, standing there all tall and stately on a thick and moss-covered branch, was an owl. Not behind glass, not in a cage, just standing there, being wise and wonderful.
He was looking right at me with his big unblinking eyes.
I looked back at him. Breath in. Breath out. I watched his feathers rise and fall, his head swivel to notice when a new human-made noise rose up, and then watched it circle back to me. And we sat there just like that, just looking at each other, until the world around me fell away and everything including my heartbeat became still.
Then he spread his great wide wings and soared. He was gone.
Thank you, thank you, I thank you.
Watch for gifts, wait for miracles. Listen when you receive small tugs–they can lead to big things.
There are always decisions, choices, and pathways to navigate. Life is full of opportunity. And, for lots of us, indecision and confusion.
“How do I know which choice is the right one?
How do I trust my gut? How do I choose the right pathway?”
These are all questions that come up over and over again. Laced over top of all of them, for each person I’ve ever helped through this process, is the burning desire to do what’s right for them, not what other people want them to do.
Something is calling.
It’s truth, it’s wisdom, it’s the guide within you. And you can be your own guide for life. You have that talent.
You can read the 10 Big Ideas for How to Be Your Own Guide for Life here–and see the video, too, if you want.
bright white puffs of smoke
They would puff up in random places—the corner of the kitchen where the window met the ceiling, in front of the door to the hallway, above my bed. Puffs of smoke, clear and white and round. It didn’t make any sense. I wasn’t burning any candles, hadn’t been cooking, hadn’t lit a match.
I peeked outside, into the courtyard—no one was there. No gardener having a cigarette or neighbour sitting with incense. I opened to door to the hallway, there was nothing. And yet the puffs of smoke kept coming, pauses in between them where I considered what on earth they could be.
There wasn’t an answer that made any sense. So I just decided to be ok with them, the puffs of white smoke appearing from nowhere, inexplicably.
They continued on until late in the evening.
the navajo medicine man
Days later, I called a new friend of mine, a Navajo medicine man I’d met in Arizona. He’d walked into the conference room and I’d felt that tug—you know that one, the one that says: ‘Go over there’. But it’s not a surface level tug, not a physical attraction or curiosity. It’s that uplifting pull from within that says ‘There’s something for you here. Something that you’re destined for.’
He was tall, straight-backed, with long black hair like a river. A fierce nose. A strong face.
I couldn’t shake it. “I keep getting the sense I’m supposed to go talk to him.”
“Go for it,” my friend said. She smiled.
I left my chair, walked towards him and said “Hello.”
“Hello.” He smiled.
“I just felt that I was supposed to come talk to you.”
“Thank you. These are my children.”
I went back and sat down.
That was all. Something was missing. Something left unsaid.
the first blessing
The next day he came back, stood outside the conference room door. On the break I went out to stand beside him, and we looked out over the balcony railing to the dessert below. The air was filled with the heat of the sun and crickets sent out streams of tiny sounds like bells being rung.
“You’re the one that I’ve been waiting for,” he said. “The seventh one.
My grandmother told me to speak with seven people. She said the seventh one would come when I was distracted, but would know me anyway.”
It all sounded like a tale from a children’s book, something from The Chronicles of Narnia. My mind was grasping, trying to make sense of it, trying to make it rational. But all of that thinking and figuring was getting in the way of his speaking, and when he spoke it was like rivers running through the earth. So I decided to suspend logic. I dove into the river.
We went and sat cross-legged in a shady corner, creating a circle around us.
“this is for you.”
He showed me a pink stone. “It’s been part of many sacred ceremonies. It sits beside the fire.”
It looked like me, like a stone that had encapsulated my soul.
“I saw a rainbow the other day, before I flew here,” I told him. “It lifted me up; I’d been crying, having this terrible day, in despair. And when I saw that rainbow I knew that something was coming this weekend, something that would reassure me and remind me.”
“When did you see the rainbow?” he asked.
“I saw it, too. The rainbow came to me in a vision while I was sitting in ceremony in the mountains. I knew it was you—the person I would find this weekend.”
He placed the stone in my palms, began to raise and lower his hands from the sky to the earth, inviting heaven above to join earth below, speaking sometimes in English and sometimes in Navajo—and I understood what he was saying. He blessed the stone, cupped my fingers around it. I held it to my chest, breathed deep.
How did he know I was coming? How did his grandmother know that stone would be the perfect one? I don’t know. It doesn’t make any logical sense. It just is.
the second blessing
The puffs of smoke he sent as a blessing, weeks after I’d returned home.
That day I called him and told him about them he asked when I’d seen them.
“Tuesday, I think.”
“I was doing a ceremonial blessing. During the blessing, you smoke a pipe and for each round you send the smoke up as a blessing for someone. I sent some to you.”
Oh. Oh, thank you, I thank you.
Dear wonderful wonderous world, I thank you.
more stories from the LibreFree Project: libreliving.com/librefreeproject/