Another animal totem

Yesterday afternoon, as I was driving south on I-5 to Eugene with a friend, I noticed ahead of us a very large bird flying low in the same direction–low as in just above the cars and trucks in the northbound lanes.  I was doing 70, and it took us several moments to catch up with this bird, which turned out to be a swan.  Yes, there was a swan now flying alongside and just higher than my car, right down the median, at almost 70 mph.  I was terrified it was going to be hit head-on by a northbound vehicle, but miraculously it knew just where to fly to avoid being hit.

Mute swan
Mute Swan

If you know anything about Oregon bird species, you’ll know that the Mute Swan is considered invasive by the Department of Fish & Wildlife.  That being said, Oregon is also host to both trumpeter and tundra swans.  Since I didn’t have my field glasses handy at the time, and my avian identification skills would probably be rather limited at 70 mph, I have absolutely no idea which of the three my swan was.  Anyway, that’s not the point.

Tundra swan
Tundra Swan

I have never seen a swan in flight, and, on top of that, quite frankly I can’t remember the last time I’ve even seen one in the wild.  And honestly, what is the likelihood of a swan flying alongside your car at 70 mph on a November afternoon as you’re cruising down I-5 on your way to the semi-annual Gem Faire at the Lane County Fairgrounds?  The odds are, to be conservative, astoundingly low.

The swan flew along with us for a short period, then gradually dropped behind as I passed it.  As I watched in my rearview mirror, it drifted over to the southbound lanes so it was almost directly behind us for a while.  Finally, I lost sight of it.

I couldn’t wait to get home and see what Medicine Cards had to say about it.  You may recall how delightfully accurate Bat’s message was back in August.  There was no doubt in my mind that Swan had appeared just for me yesterday, and s/he had a message:

So it is that we learn to surrender to the grace of the rhythm of the universe, and slip from our physical bodies into the Dreamtime.  Swan medicine teaches us to be at one with all planes of consciousness, and to trust in Great Spirit’s protection.

. . . Swan . . . ushers in a time of altered states of awareness and of development of your intuitive abilities.  Swan medicine people have the ability to see the future, to surrender to the power of Great Spirit, and to accept the healing and transformation of their lives.

. . . Swan . . . is telling you to accept your ability to know what lies ahead.  If you are resisting your self-transformation, relax; it will be easier if you go with the flow.  Stop denying that you know who is calling when the phone rings.  Pay attention to your hunches and your gut knowledge, and honor your female intuitive side.

Again, Sams & Carson’s interpretation of animal medicine is comfortingly accurate.  Blessed, blessed Universe, sending me these eye-opening, life-affirming messages.  I’ve been vacillating between accepting and resisting that healing and self-transformation for a long time. I’d like to start heading towards the Accepting side of that spectrum.  It’s tough, though, being the control freak I am, trying not to let my panties get in a bunch.

Why do we resist that which is transformative and evolutionary?  Why is it preferable to stay stuck in a rut?  How come doing the self-work seems so hard?  (Said in whiny, little kid voice.)  Truthfully, it isn’t.  I think it’s the resistance itself that makes it feel that way.

Mute Swan photo courtesy
Tundra Swan photo courtesy

2 thoughts on “Another animal totem

  1. Thank you so much for this post! I am also going thru a transformative time and resistance is a coat I have not been able to take off. Your words are exactly what I needed to hear. You are a blessing! Thanks for continuing to write. We miss you in SD but looks like OR is the perfect place for you to share your creative and wonderful gifts!

    1. Blessings to you also, Mahala. It’s so good to hear from you! Thank you for your new perspective on resistance.

      We miss everyone in SD as well–but we do love it here. Come visit us!

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