What Does It Mean?

I’ve been a bit off lately, a bit out of breath. And I keep thinking I’ll feel better when:
  • I finish a couple query letters and get a magazine to accept one of my ideas.
  • I have another story polished and a literary magazine publishes it. 
  • I have a completed first draft of my book and am ready to start editing it. 
  • I lose ten pounds (even five would help the “feel better” cause).
  • This sad excuse for a winter is over and hopefully, the dry spell ends with the winter.
  • My horse, Luke, is back to his old self, at least I hope that happens.
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture. And yes, I do realize the destructive futility of thinking this way. And yet…

I was walking the Brew Babes Friday evening and thinking, I’d feel better if my owls would come back. They made me feel so much better about moving to my new house. Almost every night they were outside my bedroom window, calling back and forth. I felt safe and welcomed. I felt reassured that things would be okay.

But my neighbor cut down several of his trees and put up a monster shed and I haven’t seen or heard the owls since.

And as I was thinking about them, and the dogs and I returned home and walked up my driveway, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something drop out of the dark and soundlessly lower itself into my neighbor’s tree.

I looked hard, squeezing my eyes until I could determine that yes, indeed, it was one of the owls.

He or she didn’t stay long — just looked over at me and then took off again, into the neighboring cemetery.

This encounter was not as satisfying as having the owls hang out by my window, but it felt like a comforting visit to let me know that they’re still around. And because I see signs in moments like these, I thought perhaps the owl was meant to remind me that even if I don’t see or hear something, it doesn’t mean that whatever it is I’m looking for isn’t there or perhaps there is something even better if I release my expectations…

This winter has been harder for me than last winter. Without the beauty of snow, the magnificence of owls or the physical challenge of skiing, the winter has felt stark and barren.

And yet, this winter —– there have been swans.

Swans, with their elegant necks, and wings that spread out and remind me of paintings of angels. Instead of snow, I am entranced with white feathers, contrasted with dark beaks and legs. I think of the story of the ugly duckling, who discovered he was a glorious swan.

So perhaps I think of this as the winter of swans. Of course, I will ponder what that means.

It will be something on the order of taking flight, reaching wide, and making a lot of noise.

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  1. You are a ‘Swan’ sweetie and I have not a doubt in my mind that you will soar with the best of ’em.

    I’m prayin’ that God gives you the desires of your heart.

    God bless and have an extraordinary week Maery! :o)

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