Yesterday while I was drinking tea – my morning ritual when life isn’t too chaotic – a sudden flutter of shadows dappled the wall. I jumped up and turned to the window to see a huge flock of birds settling in the trees outside, their noise audible through glass and wood. It felt like a revelation, like a benediction. Things are on the wing. Change is coming. Good change, I think. If I had lived in another time, I would have been an ornithomancer. I study the flights of birds for wordless messages, their calligraphy etched dark against the winter sky.
Brenna Layne wove these words in a post about silence and writing, about being seen and getting published, about writing for the crowd and writing for the sake of story. This woman is steeped in magic and knows the spells that turn inner dreams into shared adventures. I trust her and her birds.
We’re all plagued with the doubt Brenna explores in her post…
- Will my work be seen?
- Is it worth all this devotion and occasional sacrifice?
- Would it be easier to live in a pre-internet age free of digital distraction and devoted to intimate conversation and a bit of bird language?
When in similar creative and/or "what am I supposed to do with my life confusion," I too turn to tea, to silence, to frantic writing, and the messages in the skies. (I also turn to wine and television, but that’s another story.)
Here’s what I know of bird medicine and the creatures that guide a writing mother concerned with making a living and making an impact:
I know the crow helps us spy magic and the power of creation. Of course they do - they’re our spiritual watchmen and the smartest of all the birds.
I know the heron, that unique introvert, gives us the power to focus and find balance. This is how we explore the depths and still stay firmly rooted into the earth.
It’s the hawk that brings the visions and bravery and the ability to fight when you must.
And finally, the cardinal teaches us equality and the right to be seen. The female sings as loudly and sweetly as the male. When it’s time to breed, the daddies mute their bold colors to better keep the nest safe and share in the care of the young.
When we’re feeling too empty and too full of stories all at once, let’s look to the skies and to our own soaring hearts.