Then there’s the bird living in a tree in my backyard that sounds unnervingly like a person.  On the first day of my son’s school year, the bird seemed to say “kehoe” over and over. Later that day, my car key locked in the ignition as I waited in the school parking lot to pick up my boy.  When I finally got home, the key to the front door wasn’t cooperating.  My son mentioned he’d had trouble with his locker.  All the “keyholes.”  There’s an old Yiddish proverb, “May all your orifices stay open,” so I’m grateful that only keyholes were an issue that day!  Coulda bin woist, as we say in Joisey.

Is it possible that God speaks to us through animals?  Wouldn’t it be easier just to communicate with me through my daily horoscope, a fortune cookie, maybe even send me a telegram?  Maybe the point is to learn to hear what those in my life are telling me.  Not just with their words, but with body language, with mannerisms, even with silence.

My son, who was home with me when the crows tried to break into the sunroom, weighed in afterward and said, “Ma, you’re a mystical creature.”   That seemed to satisfy him and he went back to his video game.  As for me, I’m keeping an open mind and one eye over my shoulder for Gandalf, Yoda, maybe Elvis.    Or even Andy Kaufman as Elvis.  All I know is, I really prefer to see my wildlife in a zoo when I’m ready.  Nature coming to my door really is for the birds.

Poultice for the Soul

Nobody reads the newspaper the next day
because it’s, well, old news.
Please help me find a way to put these things behind me:
yesterday’s ways,
old habits,
antique relationships,
limited mind-set.
Clear the decks for me to make way for the bounty,
the beauty, the blessings.
Make the way plain for me as people speak without words.
If someone is in need, help me read them like a book.
Let me reach out like a friend.
Give me that extra sense so I can feel what is really going on
and provide a poultice for the soul in pain.  

-Ruth Williams


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