An orange flash dipped in front of the truck, with no time to veer. We arrived at our destination to find a Baltimore oriole embedded in the front grill. I was heartbroken.
At any other time, the appearance of an oriole would be auspicious. Usually showing up in pairs, these birds arrive in summer and bring with them such cheer. This is the first oriole I have seen this year, and the circumstance is horrific.
Call it superstitious, but I’ve always believed birds are messengers. It’s a relationship I established as a young child, when locked outside of my house for hours on end. I would wander through the back woods, and commune with an invisible force I called Mother. Times when I felt afraid or anxious, I would ask Mother to send me a sign, and little birds would land at my feet bringing reassurance.
Decades later, when my marriage of seventeen years ended abruptly, and I was falling apart, I pulled into a parking lot one day and put my head down on the steering wheel to weep. I said a prayer to God to help me find the strength to go on, and when I raised my head all around me were birds.
Birds bring me joy, and an undefinable sense of comfort, and to know that we were the cause of this beautiful bird’s end leaves me with a sense of foreboding. Is something off? Is this a warning?
A spiritual teacher, who taught me much about the ways of nature, once said that if a bird sacrifices its own life to bring a message, then it is important to pay attention. I like to be pragmatic, and would think this just a sad coincidence, but the oriole is a bird that means something to me, and I can’t help but think of its mate, now woefully left behind. It echoes my own fear about losing my mate.
At the very least, this incidence serves to help me face my fears. Ric meets with the oncologist, his family doctor, and another specialist this month. In a few weeks we will know how he is faring. Since 2012, he has gone through treatment for stage III cancer, and triple bypass surgery after surviving two heart attacks. Concern is inevitable.
I am the one who put forward the challenge to be on the lookout for synchronicity in our lives. Makes it hard to ignore this one.
I’ll keep you posted.
(V.J.’s weekly challenge #2 is synchronicity. Featured image is actually an Altamira Oriiole, taken in Texas. The last image is Ric & I on our wedding day.)