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New Year, New Look

The Golden Globes have come and gone with a few Lady Bird looks that impressed in an old Hollywood glamour kind of way.

Dressed in all black, the feather accents on Angelina Jolie and Deborra-Lee Furness were all that was necessary to make them shine.

For me, birds have great significance, especially when I’m traveling or transitioning into something new. My trip from British Columbia to San Francisco last week impressed a strong message upon me through the siting of a bald eagle in the little town of Chewelah, Washington. I take a scenic bus ride from our winter home at Red Mountain in the Kootenay mountains to the Spokane airport every January and the two-hour drive allows me to reflect on the past and future.

Birds are like messengers and the rare glimpse of the Eagle reminded me to rise above the minutiae of my current life and see the big picture. In the Medicine Cards book by Jamie Sams and David Carson, the eagle represents Spirit and the connection to the Divine in Native American medicine.

The power of Eagle “is the ability to live in the realm of spirit and yet remain connected and balanced to the realm of earth.” I was being reminded to “soar above the mundane levels of my life and broaden my sense of self beyond the horizon of what is presently visible.”

The invitation to attack the fears that limit me was just what I needed.

Coming home to an empty house after the Holidays is always a challenge for me. My husband Jo and two cats Minx and Linus were back at Red mountain and the house always feels strangely quiet. There is a temptation when I am home alone, to console myself by the fire with TV binge-watching.

But when I looked out the airplane window at the sun setting high above a carpet of threatening storm clouds, I knew this time was going to be different. A brilliant band of blue and gold shown along the horizon in a clear and majestic sky. Below, over the city of Oakland was a fierce rainstorm and as the plane descended into the foreboding clouds, it became black and stayed that way for what seemed like forever.

There it was again, the same message of eagle depicted in the sky to rise above the “muddled mess” I often feel inside when faced with the tasks of getting my book published and increasing my social media presence.

That clear sky and distant horizon is always there even when my earthly life seems overwhelmed by tasks, and challenges.

The next day I received another rare gift from my feathered friends. Once a year, a flock of two dozen or more Robins move through my wooded neighborhood splashing and singing in the creek below my house.

They appear just for an afternoon and then move on as they migrate south. I was privileged to witness their joy and the brilliance of their rust-colored bellies on this grey and rainy day. They reminded me that there are many earthly delights in life right in front of me. All at once I felt at home and happy to be on this planet.

What’s your challenge for the new year and how will you choose to expand your horizons?

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