Dad was away at Sandy's for the long weekend and I had agreed to pick up his newspaper so on Saturday after work (at sunset actually cos I forgot right after work) I drove up to his house. In fading light, I strolled around the outside, checked doors and the yard. Dane had been there for a day or two but had left for a friend's camp the day before. The place was deserted (as it should have been) but it really felt like it. Eerie almost. Lonely. It occurred to me that my dad's heart is no longer there. Although it is a relatively busy street, I didn't notice any vehicles drive past. I heard no birds. The purple, pink and white petunias blossomed beautifully along the front walkway. But everything felt still and forlorn as I walked past. I wondered about Tally, Dad's little dog, found myself missing her. At that moment a small bird, a sparrow I thought, swooped in front of me, right in front of my face making me stop. It landed by my ankles on a wooden divider, cocked its head to the side and gazed up at me.
"Hello. How are you?" I whispered.
It cocked its head to the other side, its eyes bright and dark.
I think I said a couple more things to it but I can't remember what. It just stayed still and appeared to listen. When I said, "Thank you," it flew up into the low bush beside it with a flash of olive yellow beneath its wings and disappeared in the bush.
"Thank you," I said again. I felt comforted, collected the papers from the box across the road, passed more birds splashing in a puddle and drove back home with a blazing orange sun behind me.
I told Rob about my encounter. He accepts these things in my life, has been witness to enough strange incidents to never question me or them.
"Instead of 'How are you?' you should have asked 'Who are you?' " he wisely said.
I laughed. I assume it was Tally or someone else letting me know through the little bird that Tally was okay. In any case it was a much treasured 'Hello from the other side.'
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A PS came to me tonight as I was pondering writing this post. Years ago, Mam had a sinking feeling about an elderly neighbour that she hadn't seen for a day or two so she went over to see her. There was no answer at the neighbour's door but Mam said that she knew immediately, before she had even knocked on the door, that the lady had died. "There was no life in that house," she said. "I know that feeling when there's no life in a house." She called the police who confirmed her suspicions. Mam often sensed such things. She worried incessantly that the lady had died alone but as far as anyone could tell, the death had been peaceful.
I'm not sure why I feel so compelled to share that but I believe in acting on my intuition as much as possible so there it is.
Our next door neighbour, Morris, died alone in his house on a summer's night when Spook, one of our cats, went missing. I walked past his house, up and down his driveway calling "Spook! Spook!", worrying about the little cat, never sensing that Morris was in distress or that he had possibly died.
The things we tune in to or that capture our attention and our hearts can all be different. I must admit that I prefer my 'gift', which is generally comforting, to my Mam's where she sensed that people, loved ones, were in distress or that something bad had happened to them. Quite the burden for her. In another blog I'll have to talk about her experiences...at least two big ones that I'm aware of.
And you, what gifts do you have? Maybe nothing too far out there (at least not that you're aware of or can admit to yourself even) but I know those of you who encourage me and regularly read my blog are kind beyond measure. That's a good place to start.
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.