On my way out the door this morning I peeked over my shoulder to see a bald eagle flying over the neighbors’ house. At first glance I thought it was a heron – dark color, big flapping wings – it looked heavy, it was taking this bird a lot of energy to propel itself through the air. Then the light caught it just right and I saw it’s white head. We don’t see many bald eagles on the farm where I grew up, where I am spending these early days of 2012, so the appearance of this one caught my attention.
Back in August, just before a dear friend was headed for pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland I was invited to her home to offer my skills as a henna artist. My friend and her traveling companion wanted to find a way to mark the beginning of their journey and so I painted henna on arms and legs. I offered them symbols of their own spiritual lives and we talked about what this pilgrimage meant to them. As we were finishing our time together, I was gifted with four small eagle feathers. I cried when they were put into my hands for the first time. I cannot describe what it meant to me to have such powerful medicine in my palms, such delicate feathers of white fluff. Sometimes there are things in this life we do not have words for, only a deep knowing inside of our bodies. This was one of those times. My intuition told me these feathers wanted a box and needed to be wrapped in red fabric. I asked one of my Indian aunties what to do and she told me to wrap them in red fabric and pray. They have been sitting on my home altar since.
I talk to these feathers. I feed them tobacco. I have brought them into ritual with other women of faith. We are becoming good friends.
When I was at a storytelling festival in October I told one of the Master Storyteller’s about my feathers. He told me that people often think Eagle is so sacred because it flies higher than the other birds and therefore closest to Creator. But, he said this is not what makes Eagle special. He told me that Eagle is special because it has a unique vantage point on life. From tremendous height it is able to see clearly. Eagle brings clarity to our muddled minds and our muddled lives.
And my morning was blessed by Eagle.
I knew then it would be an important day. I was smiling and laughing and happy to be alive in this new year. As we rounded the first turn in the road I spotted two swans floating on the flooded fields. They were completely oblivious to being witnessed in their morning drifting, but I was struck by their presence. I do not know the significance or symbolism or teachings of Swans. If any of my readers have ideas I am open to them. All I knew in that moment was that I was being blessed by Creator in ways that I would recognize.
God talks to all of us in a multitude of ways. If we are open and paying attention we will start to learn the language that exists between ourselves and our Creator. I hear God in the language of birds, weather, and sometimes trees. I hear God in serendipitous moments.
Today has turned out to be a mighty fine day. It has been a day of new connections, grand revelations, forward movement, inspiration, and exciting new adventures. I am not ready to tell you the specific details of my day, but know that seeds of goodness are being planted. It is my hope that this year continues to follow the wingbeats of Eagle and Swan.