“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” – Bernice.
‘Signs’ – are they really real? Yes. 2019 proved to be a year ending with many challenges and heartaches, revelations, get-the-breath-knocked-out-of-me moments. Miss Bug told me she was ready to leave on Aug 31st, then my dad passed away Oct 13th, then my oldest brother died unexpectedly Christmas Day.
Miss Ladybug had a beautiful journey actually, as was my first Westie’s, Max – one that every person and animal deserves ~ but the devastation for me was brutal. The grief of loss takes one back to prior days and rekindles that pain – no, she was not just “a dog,” as the saying goes. She was a companion, soul mate, teacher, friend. Having no way to know the loss and indescribable grief which lay in my path in the very near future, I still needed ongoing assurance of her life, life in general, life after our earthly bodies exit this sometimes horrific world.
A couple of days or so before Miss Bug passed I carried her outside in my arms and placed her on the ground outside the cabin to bask in the beauty of the August afternoon. She loved the sunshine and I knew the breeze and pristine mountain air would feel wonderful to her…..and I knew it would soon be her last, at least here with the boys and me. I wanted to give her every wonderful thing I could for as long as I could.
About three or four days after she left, the grief obviously was almost unbearable and even though she was a “fur” baby I asked God to just please let me know she was with Him in an even more beautiful place than she’d enjoyed here on earth. I took the boys outside in the middle of the afternoon for a quick break from working and we walked out to the area where Miss Bug had last been sitting on the ground with her little nose still trying to sniff in the clean mountain air. As I was standing there with the boys, for no reason I looked down at the ground and there among leaves and straw was the tiniest feather I’d ever seen. Just one, right where Miss Bug last rested. I lost a couple of breaths as I picked it up and brought it inside – crying. I had my ‘sign.”
It would take volumes to write about the feathers I began to find in the middle of nowhere from that day on for many, many months.
The next time I took the boys to Blue Ridge to walk in the park after she had left, we were walking among so many leaves and thick grass and there by the outdoor fireplace and covered picnic tables I looked down and at my feet I found the second feather. I was so shaken I took the boys and went straight to my car and texted one of my neighbors a picture of that feather and asked him if he believed in ‘signs’ – he assured me he did. I explained to him how the ‘feathers’ began.
Every feather I’ve found has been a single one – alone and in the most inconspicuous places where there would be no reason I should have ever looked down at that particular instance. They have been on hiking trails, by rivers, among thousands of leaves or rocks…..places that absolutely a feather would be missed by even the keenest eyes.
Throughout the feather appearances, most of the time I have contacted one of two or three friends with whom I had shared what continued to happen. They all know me well and have no doubt that Someone absolutely keeps dropping a most simple and delicate creation at my feet.
At times I would think the feathers had stopped ~ that no more assurance was needed, that I would never be startled and taken off-guard by another “reminder” – the reminder I needed and specifically asked for.
Until —– last Thursday evening in the total dark, on a freezing night in downtown Blue Ridge – the only light being the street lights which at best was extremely dim in the area where the boys and I were at the time. The boys were doing their usual sniffing around with noses to the ground as I held their leashes in my gloved hands. For absolutely no reason I looked down in what was wet and mushy grass where I was standing in my bulky rain boots and there at the toe of one of my boots was a tiny white feather. One, just one perfect tiny white feather. Undisturbed – until I bent down and picked it up in my gloved hand. I held it like someone probably would hold a million dollars they had found – to me, it was priceless.
Another ‘reminder’ in the most simple form, in a most discreet location and circumstance.
Will my collection ever be completed? There’s always room for reassurance and a reminder ~ each feather has been needed to cover so many losses.
Matthew 6:25-34 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
From a mountain girl’s heart