I usually don’t give much thought to New Year’s celebrations. My idea of a fabulous New Year’s Eve is a warm bath with a glass of wine and an early bedtime, snuggled in with my loves..one husband and two Labs. It’s actually quite uncomfortable, but Beau and Enzo will not be denied , and one of us humans , named Joe, usually ends up at Sofa City. But, it is New Year’s Eve, so we will give it the old college try. Ideally, I would prefer my two sons, now young men, to be snuggled in their beds too..but sadly, a New Year’s Eve at home with early bedtime Mom and Dad is not their version of fabulous. Sigh..here’s hoping their plans fall through so that I don’t have to fight the urge to text them every half hour for proof of life. I know..I know..let them go. I intend on doing so when their frontal lobes are fully developed. We’re getting there.
Sooooo..back to New Year’s.
There’s something strange happening ’round here, and I am beginning to see a pattern. I didn’t piece it together until Earl knocked on my kitchen door this morning..well..first rattled the doorknob, then flung himself at the glass, causing my seventeen year- old incredible hulk of a man-child to respond in a decibel that I didn’t think was still physically possible for him.
But..first a little New Year’s weird history from the home- front…
If you are a past reader of this blog, you may recall my encounters with Prince. Prince was a white , Piebald deer who lived on the property of a convent that I visit by bike or foot often. It is an oasis in our crowded community, tucked on a hilltop, overlooking the forest and river here. Prince was named by the nuns at the convent, they felt his presence was special, a message. The last time I saw Prince was New Year’s a few years ago..I went to look for him, scanning the edge of the forest in the distance where he usually stood, only to turn around and find him standing a few feet from my car as if to say, “you lookin’ for me?” I had read that Native Americans believed the white deer were spiritual messengers..representing wonder, mystery..magic. I was looking for all three when he appeared, and I gasped and we stared at each other for what seemed like a long time. He walked away slowly, and I drove away slowly..renewed..believing. I was told a few months later by a nun with tears in her eyes that he was found that winter lying next to their angel garden, their Prince had died. They still felt his spirit there..so did I, and still do.
The next New Year’s, I awoke to a wounded dove in my back yard who was dragging a wing and appeared doomed. I ran for help, returning moments later to find the dove gone, replaced by the sounds of soft cooing close by. The dove is wildly symbolic of course, and I spent that morning reading about their messages of hope and significance to Christianity. A lovely, hopeful start to a New Year. Pretty cool.
But wait..there’s more. The Hawk. The Hawk came last year , took up post on my fence and had a staring contest with me through my window. At this point, I had “Spirit Animals” book-marked on my laptop and found that the visit from the hawk was a sign to “get ready”, changes were coming , wisdom would be summoned and courage needed. Life was indeed changing quickly, and confusion and sadness was hanging in the air. Painful loss followed in 2018 as my dear Dad passed away..and everything feels shrouded in sad. Deep love = deep grief. I get it now.
My Dad was many things, kind, smart, generous.. a great guy. He was a practical man who knew when enough was enough. Before he died, he asked me..”why can’t you say goodbye?” Dad had a sense of humor and a playfulness that made him easy to be around…and I know he wants us to laugh often at his memory and mourn less.
Ladies and Gentlemen…meet Spirit Animal 2019. Knocked on my door this morning.
“Hellllloooooo..it appears you have placed the “bird” (he did the air quotes, pretty sure) feeder a bit out of reach”.
Then…to the theme of “Rocky”..seriously, my son put the song on…Earl pulls a “Hold my beer” stunt.
Finally, with two Labs watching this madness from two feet away, their snouts pressed against the glass, growling and barking…Earl comfortably sat..and smirked..and we laughed and laughed.
Believe or not, Squirrels are considered spirit animals and they are believed to carry several messages to believers. Squirrels tell us to not take life too seriously. They warn us to prepare- get those nuts buried early and often! Most importantly, according to the Shamans, they encourage us to never give up.
Thanks for the laughs Earl, message received. Also, “bird ” feeder lowered..I wouldn’t want my crazy messenger to sprain his cute, little furry ankle.
Happy New Year!