At my request, my sister took me to the small park that sits at the curve of the Fox river, where it accepts the flow from the Bay. I have to visit it every year to see the Pelicans that migrate there, and use Pelican Island for their home base through the summer months. That little white dot, in the midst of all of that blue, is one of the many we saw.
A much closer look at his buoyant ride on the waves. Most of the large birds were in the air, flying in familiar formation.
But, we were also visited by this small juvenile red-winged blackbird, unusually out of place, and exploring the mown grass just a short distance from the picnic table where we sat.
It only had the beginnings of a few strokes of red on its wing and I couldn’t seem to capture those small spots. I tried, but this was the best shot of the lot I took.
Meanwhile, also unusual, a lone sea gull worked its way in a huge circle around the table where we sat quietly chatting.
Slowly working its way closer, until it actually approached my feet and I could have bent down and touched it, if I chose to do so.
Birds, in general, are seen as spiritual messengers, because they spend much of their time in the air, moving between the earth and the heavens. And their feathers are a symbol of truth, that which is so light it drifts on the slightest breeze, yet is strong enough to carry an entire life, wherever it chooses to travel.
I had asked my sister to take me there, because I wanted to speak to her about something that I was struggling over. I had already written about it, but it was still troubling me because it was a piece of my past that had suddenly come full circle and was now intruding on my present moments. I was hoping that by talking it out, with Mary, I could discern my own truth amidst all of the emotions and memories, and then find a path through what was now a current situation, and a choice of action I was quite uncertain about.
Although, raised in the same household, and attending the same schools, from kindergarten, through high school, we do not necessarily share the exact same spiritual belief systems. We were both married within a nine-month time period. She has two children, I have four. She will celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary next year, while I went to College, got a divorce, and have been single for nearly thirty years. She was one of two or three people I wanted to discuss this with, because I knew she would see it differently than I do.
And was very surprised when she agreed with where my thoughts, and writing had taken me. She said that she would have interpreted the signs in the same manner I had, but then cautioned me to be very, very careful because of my age and disabilities. Something that I was very aware of and had already taken into account. She seemed more than satisfied that I agreed with her about that. We left the park, picked up lunch, and returned here to my apartment. After eating and chatting a bit more, she left and I sat down to write a letter.
Four pages later, I realized that I was still busy explaining why I was writing the damn thing. So, I quit, and took a nap. Later, continued watching an old tv series. It’s about two brothers, who although they grew up together, because of their very individual abilities, had led very different lives, but are now working together. And the episodes I watched were about how each of them was struggling with what they individually want to do with the rest of their lives. Sound a bit familiar?
So, today I decided to get out the photos and share them here, only to realize that they have made me realize another message altogether. I am seeking the truth, my truth, in all of this. And the birds were part of that reality. Pelicans are a symbol of buoyancy, they speak to the ability to dive deep, to find nurture, then swiftly pop back up to the surface with whatever they have grasped.
I have written poems about the red-winged blackbird, and see them as a symbol of the creative fire that burns no matter how much darkness might surround it. They continue to sing, and to rise in flight. Will even respond to a human voice that mimics them amateurishly.
Gulls come in all different sizes and differ in coloring. They are scavengers and will eat whatever they find or is tossed at them.
Which seems to relate to what I have been doing and will continue to do as I dig deep for more of my truth, come back up to the surface, and with the aid of words and images, continue to search and scavenge for whatever will lead me to the choices I still must make. And that simply tells me there is more for me to find, to discover, and to know.