I am deep in sleep, waking from a dream. I look at my watch and it is not even 6:30 am. If this were a weekday, I would be fine but it is Sunday, and I prize sleep above most things in
my life. My youngest dog Duffy is scratching to get in the bed and wake us up because he wants to go outside. He is frantic in fact, and I know this is not about going to pee but there is an animal he wants to see up close. We are at our cottage so this is not as simple as opening the back door to let him out; I need to take him for a walk which involves a lot more energy than I currently have. I wipe the sleep from my eyes and start the process of getting the dogs ready to go for a walk.
The morning is warmer than I expect it to be. I am alone as we walk and don’t see anyone else. I am thankful for this as I am sure I would not be much for small talk just now. As I contemplate this, I hear the loud hammering of a woodpecker. It is so loud that I imagine it’s the Pileated woodpecker. I heard the same sound the day before as I napped and lounged in the sun. I did not look that time because I always believe what we are looking for finds us. Plus, I was napping because as stated, sleep above all else.
On this morning I don’t need to look because there he is, as predicted hammering away on a dead tree in the distance. If you haven’t seen one, they are the sort of bird that reminds you birds are related to dinosaurs, almost prehistoric in nature. In fact, bird nerd that I am, I have only ever seen the Pileated six times in my life. Yes, I am keeping track.
The Pileated woodpecker was always the Moby Dick of birds in my youth. My grandmother was the OG bird nerd, and she spent the most time in the yard and the back garden. She had bird feeders everywhere and it was among my daily tasks to refill them all. (Side note for the non-bird people, if you have 6 feeders that need filling daily, you have a LOT of birds passing through your yard.) She was the one that made the Pileated special. His call is loud and unmistakable. “Wooker, wooker, wooker,” she would call in the yard to draw them in. Mostly we thought this was funny, but truly, she loved this bird. I often heard them, but never saw one until just a few years ago.
If you have been hanging around a while, you certainly have heard me say that I believe it is better to let things come to us, to not look for them. And when I say things I mean signs, partners, opportunities, but mostly, I mean signs.
Seeing the Pileated early on a Sunday morning was sheer magic for me, a clear sign that I needed to take this walk. As we proceeded down the dirt road, I saw a feather laying in the grass. It was not your average feather; I could tell this was a special one. It looked like a hawk’s feather but smaller, and more white on it than brown like a hawk might have. Amazing find! Score two for Duffy the persistent little dog. Later, after a thorough investigation, I would determine this to be a feather from a Barn Owl. My first owl feather, in fact, and I am super excited about that!
This walk was brief, maybe ten minutes in total. We went back to the cottage, and I got back in bed and easily fell back to sleep. I had a sense that this was meaningful but wasn’t clear what it was about. Again, after enough “lessons” in life, I know not to push this but wait for the message.
Late that same night, it started to connect for me. You see, I have been having some health challenges. I believe I am on my 5th opinion because the path on this feels murky and complicated. Last week, I got my 5th opinion and I had to go out of state to get it. I think this doctor is the closest to correct so far. And, as it turns out, he doesn’t support the initial theory that drove me to him, and yet is still willing to help me.
Are you ready? Here it is:
Sometimes it’s the thing that wakes you up, takes you places you need to go without which you would not otherwise go.
I have been getting this same message in dreams lately too. In fact, I can point to at least two dreams that have validated that message.
Me, getting up early to go places, and ending up somewhere else unrelated that I am meant to be.
Me, getting my car fixed out of town and telling the mechanic it is one thing, when really it is something else and he can help me.
I even had validation come through a stranger last week, unsolicited and unprompted.
Another moment of validation was when I was called to listen to a podcast I don’t normally follow. I thought this was an interview with a poet. While the interviewee was a poet, she also had a similar health issue that she was discussing. It really wasn’t about her poetry so much as it was about her health.
The universe really is nudging us along if we are willing to take in its subtleties.
I still don’t know exactly what my next step is, but I trust in time the path will most definitely become clear and no matter what I choose, I will be supported. Some strange thing will lead me to the next step, of that I am certain.
With this in mind, I encourage you to follow all the nudges and signs, even if they don’t make sense in the moment.
“Wooker, wooker, wooker…” Be willing to call in whatever you are seeking.
Sometimes the clues and nudges don’t match your expectations. Follow them anyway.