Signs of life -- 9/11/2007


Wasn't there a rock n' roll song about signs? During times of stress or indecision, I have often been someone that looks for external signs, nudges, indicators or otherwise giant billboards from God. Something that would direct or validate for me what was going on in the morass of my mind. I am sure I am not alone in this one. There are people who will look for clues or hints from the Universe to use as guidelines for the choices they are about to make. We even refer to this practice in some of our vocabulary:
"He called you the next day after your first date, that's a good sign!"

I have some silly ones that I have totally made up and I will share with you:
When I am in Hillcrest, as I am driving up 5th, I determine that if there is an easy and open parking area in front of the thrift store, that I am meant to go in today and find some unexpected treasure. Or, when I lived in a certain area of Los Angeles that was more woodsy, I determined that if I saw a squirrel run across the road in front of my car that it would be a good day. Signs are often little secret handshakes or fellowship banners that indicate you and another person share something in common. Whenever I see a car with the white Apple logo, I smile and feel more connected to that person. I know people do that with the school logos or even when they learn in conversation that the person they are talking to was born in the same city. It's a sign . . . of what, I am not sure. That is a rather subjective thing.

Then we have our signs from God. Six years ago, way too much was written that the tragedy of Sept. 11th was a sign from God about many of the errant practices going on in our world. That same justification was later used to say that Hurricane Katrina was a sign from God that the immorality of New Orleans had caught up with itself and this natural tragedy (usually the natural devastations always get credited to God's handiwork for a specific purpose) was to help eliminate the sin factor. I pray that we can let go of this false ideas and idols and desire for revenge and move to a higher level of consciousness and living in peace.

My version of God does not give signs like that. I don't live with a vengeful God or one that is poised to dispatch wrath at a whim's notice. My God gives loving or helpful signs. I get inner and outer signs that are cosmic nudges and intuitive "hits" to do something like take a different street for my travels only to learn that if I had gone my usual way, I would have encountered a delay or problems. My signs are like gentle butterflies that land softly on my heart when I walk into a special place or meet a special person and that let's me know I am right where I am supposed to be.

And well, speaking of butterflies. . . This morning, I was taking out a load of laundry to be washed and I saw a little butterfly visiting our peach tree. My first thought was of my mother because she had donned Don to be her butterfly. This is because when MSN had their TV campaign that showed a guy dressed up in a butterfly suit protecting the internet users from all sorts of negative circumstances, she decided that is what Don was for us. A butterfly who kept us safe and sound. Ever since then, whenever I see a butterfly I think of her. We began exchanging gifts or cards decorated with butterflies whenever we had the chance. When I saw this little creature at the tree, my next thought was of someone who asked me recently if my mother had contacted me since her death; and wondered what method or symbol she would use. I quickly checked in with myself to see if I felt this little flutter-by was Mom and I did not and dismissed it.

When I rounded the corner to go to the shed with my laundry load, I saw a large shadow come towards me from the side of my car parked in the driveway. I flinched just enough to give me pause. From the side of my car, this shadow emerged and it was a huge yellow and black butterfly about the size of my hand. I gasped. All at once, my thoughts flooded to the realization that this butterfly was a gift, a message from my mother. Not only was it unusually large, it made a bee-line (I couldn't resist the pun) for me and landed in front of my car and spread it's wings; it was yellow and black--my favorite colors from my childhood so that I would recognize her. It stayed still. I got all excited. I carefully put the laundry down on the hood of the car and I asked the butterfly to please stay a moment. I quickly ran in to get Don to join me, "Come quickly but carefully." He came out and sure enough, she was still there on the ground for us to see. Once we were both there, she rose up and flew around us for a few seconds and then off out into the street. Suddenly, I wanted to bring her back and talk to her, thank her. She swooped back by to catch my smiles (and probably my thoughts) and again, I saw her beauty and strength and purpose. Mom is doing just fine, thank you. And she was off on her journey. It always baffled me that my mother never drove or rode on the freeways, I guess she was just waiting till she could fly!

Signs, nudges, miracles are everywhere you look. Thanks Mom for stopping by--come again.


ellie said…
That was a very nice story, thank you. love you, el
Anonymous said…
I love signs like that butterfly that make me smile...I try to let them come rather than searching the horizen desparately for something which with to make a decision. The ones from within are good, too. L

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