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"Slow Down, You Move too Fast..."

Greetings all and Happy New Year! I haven’t posted in a few weeks. Not that I haven’t wanted to, I certainly have, but I made a strict policy when I started this blog that I only write when I am inspired. I had a flew glimpses on New Year’s Day of things I wanted to share but I didn’t want to write a “New Year, New You” post because I just don’t buy in to all that. You are perfect just the way you are. You just need to recognize the magic that is within you and accept and own your gifts.

I woke up on New Year’s Day and the first thing I did, which is the same thing I do most days, was to open the blinds in my bedroom and check out the yard. My backyard borders a field which is home to a lot of wildlife and birds. I may have mentioned it before but in case I haven’t, I love the birds. My boyfriend Dave calls me a bird nerd, which I own, and I am not ashamed to admit I sometimes feed the birds before I feed myself in the morning.

When I opened the blinds that morning, I saw a red bellied woodpecker on my feeder. While not a completely unusual bird, he is not a frequent flyer in my yard. (See what I did there?) This warmed my heart as I often feel connected to woodpeckers, so I took this as a positive sign for 2021. Within the hour, I also saw a downy woodpecker and then said out loud, “I wonder if Hairy will show up today too?” For the non-bird nerds out there, the downy woodpecker is the woodpecker you are most likely to find at your birdfeeder. A small black and white bird, they are pretty common and considered the friendliest of the woodpecker family. The hairy woodpecker is basically the same bird but significantly larger with a few minor differences. I haven’t seen a hairy woodpecker in my yard in a while. Within moments, low and behold, the hairy woodpecker arrived to sample some suet.

Downy woodpecker feather found while biking last summer

This made me smile. I thought, “Well hell, maybe the bald eagle will show up today too.” Side note, I have only seen a bald eagle at my house one time in the 6 years I have lived here, and it was just a few weeks ago. For some reason yesterday, I literally felt like I could conjure the birds. The bald eagle did not show up, but I did see one while walking my dogs in a store front window that afternoon. It just happened to be a lamp that included a miniature bald eagle as its base. Again, I accept these as signs and it still made me smile.

All of this leads me to my point and the message I feel compelled to share. Spirit is sending you signs ALL THE TIME. If it doesn’t feel like that to you, I invite you to slow down and pay attention and see what you notice. I also invite you to open your mind a little bit. So often we demand things of Spirit, or our passed loved ones. In spite of knowing better, I did this last month. I had a reading where the medium told me that my Dad sends me a lot of the birds, but especially he sends the hawks. Red tailed hawks are my totem animal which I have written about in the past. They would also have been my dad’s totem animal since our birthdays were just days apart. When she told me that, I was caught off guard. I had suspected a spiritual link with these birds but hadn’t considered my Dad might be the one behind it. It made so much sense honestly but ever the skeptic, I didn’t fully embrace it. After the reading, I said out loud, “Dad, if it is you sending the birds, send me one I have never seen before.” Well, how obnoxious of me to ask! Days went by, weeks even, and no new birds. Because I have been home almost all the time since March, I saw so many birds this year that I have not seen before – the cedar waxwing for one which was vibrant and cool in a Devo kind of way, a eastern towhee landed in my garden one day which I hadn’t even heard of before; I even had a pheasant in my yard one day! But now, to prove his worth, I needed to demand a brand new bird of my Dad. Well as the weeks passed, and I didn’t get my new bird, I started to lose faith in the process. The hawks came almost daily, even landing on my patio and hopping in my arborvitaes hunting for lunch, but that wasn’t good enough for me. I needed a brand new bird to prove it was him.

As a habitually impatient person, one lesson I have learned firsthand again and again is that Spirit has its own timetable. There is no need to look for things, they will show up when it is time. Have faith, trust it and things will appear when the time is right. So why was I making very specific demands of Spirit when I knew beyond a doubt that I am connected to the birds and that my Dad is still with me even if I don’t see a brand new bird in my yard? While I cannot tell you the answer to that, I will say that yesterday while I was washing the dishes, that thought ran through my head, “Dad, if it is really you, show me a bird I have never seen before.” At that moment, I looked at the river birch outside my kitchen window and saw a really tiny bird that was unfamiliar to me. It hopped like a nuthatch but was smaller, with a stripe on his head. What was this bird? It was a red breasted nuthatch! Maybe I had seen it before, but I never noticed it before. What a magical gift this was! How many things are like that? We see them all the time, but how much do we actually notice? I think this is all of us, all the time. So, I repeat, Spirit is sending you signs ALL THE TIME.

This comes up in readings a lot too. “I don’t feel him or her around me anymore, are they gone for good” or “I can’t feel them and I have been looking for signs, why don’t I get any signs?” And here is what I say to that, without pressing for further details, “How do you know you aren’t getting a sign?” We so often have preconceived notions of what counts as a sign that we miss the things that are actually going on. Maybe you are expecting a feather, or a heads up penny when in fact you are getting a song or a bird or even a smell that can’t be explained. Keep an open mind and ask for guidance. Don’t assume your signs will be cookie cutter and lean in and feel your way through things. The morning my mother passed away we left her hospice room just before dawn. On the way to the car, in the black cold morning, a single deer stood staring at us as we walked. It didn’t flinch and just kept its gaze on us. I felt deep in my heart it was my mom, letting us know she was there and to let us know her transition hadn’t ended our connection. Of course, I was bleary eyed with tears and the heaviness of grief, so I noticed the deer, but the skeptical part of me assumed it was wishful thinking. Two years later, I don’t discount the “coincidence” of that deer in the parking lot.

“Slow down, you’ll get there faster…”

A friend said that to me a few weeks ago, and it landed for me, so I wrote it down and wanted to share it with you. This last year was full of so many challenges but also many gifts. One of the greatest gifts for me was the opportunity to slow down and start to notice things and allow for things to arrive on their own schedule.

Here is something I can also tell you from all the noticing I do these days: the birds don’t know it is a new year, they just keep doing today and have faith they will find some seeds or berries or nuts or insects to sustain them. I think we can all take a note. Trust, notice and allow for divine timing.

Thank you, Dad, for sending me my new bird. Thank you also for making me wait for it. May 2021 be full of magic, blessings and surprises for you all.

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