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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The significance of signs

Speaking as someone who has read an inordinate number of fantasy and semi-historical novels over the decades, let me share that in most of them one is to pay attention to signs and portents, especially messages from the natural world. (Come to think of it, Wordsworth and company exhibited the same tendency in 1798.) Moving into the last few years of my career, I have been experiencing a restlessness that was not part of my thirties and forties, so when two Canada geese flew across my path on my way to work Thursday, the experience felt like A Sign. After all, the geese were not in a flock or a gaggle, but a pair, so perhaps the meaning was that my faraway spouse and I should look for work in the same place, away from this valley in which I have spent the last thirty years. The birds were flying east: was that to be our direction? (It may be possible to have read entirely too much Serious Literature as a young person.)

However, walking home from the library that gloriously gorgeous afternoon, just as I was preparing to cross the street, light hit the sycamores growing near the drainage ditch, making them glow in the way of sycamores in sun.
Perhaps rootedness is the message being conveyed, learning to grow in "one dear, perpetual place," as the sixty-something Yeats wished for his daughter (and not his son, I might add.).

Then at home, a glance out the back window brought a near-overdose of cuteness. What should one make of a pair of squirrels, companionably stuffing their little faces?
That's the problem with signs and portents: they contradict each other (if one can even read them in the first place).

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