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

Finding magic and meaning in the mundane

I have no job interviews scheduled today, and thus nothing better to do than drink coffee all morning and write this post.  OK, that’s not entirely true.  I really should give the front door a second coat of paint, and that ivy patch in the middle of the backyard isn’t going to rip itself out, fly into the yard waste bin and roll out to the curb.  I’ll get to it.

Today I want to delve deeper into a concept about which I posted on My True North’s Facebook page last year.  Here’s the original post:

Yesterday I had the most amazing revelation. On my way home from work–an hour and a half commute that I thankfully only make about twice a week–I was listening to an audio-only version of “A Night at the Roxbury” (a highly underrated movie, in my opinion) and suddenly realized that it’s a goldmine of brilliant metaphysical insights. Brothers Doug Butabi (Chris Kattan) and Steve Butabi (Will Ferrell) put the Law of Attraction to work without even realizing it. They just do what comes naturally. They’re in the right place at the right time, and the Universe brings them the exact circumstances they need to bring their dream to life. I was totally blown away with this realization! I’ve seen and listened to the movie many times, but the light bulb didn’t come on till just yesterday.

I think it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing when you can find messages like this in the craziest places.

Watch “A Night at the Roxbury” with this perspective in mind, and just see if I’m right!

As you can see, I really do find magic and meaning in the mundane.


The Universe (a.k.a., Source, Spirit, God, whatever term you’re most comfortable with) really, truly does speak to us.  I don’t believe in coincidences at all:  everything happens (or doesn’t) for a reason, just as every person with whom I come into contact does so for a reason.  The Universe is constantly trying to get me to realize that my thoughts have energy that affects my reality.  There is so much more than what I can see and hear and taste and smell, if I’d just allow myself to be open to it.

Other dimensions.  Other planes of existence.  Multiple realities.  The Law of Attraction.  Whatever you call it, it’s real–whether I believe it or not.  So I might as well believe it and try to get the most out of the time I have in the here and now.

Here’s another amazing example of the Universe speaking to me:  my maternal grandmother re-entered the non-physical exactly 40 years to the day after her mother.  My mother was present at both transitions, and she said they were even close to the same time of day.  I can’t explain that away by mere coincidence.  My Non-Physical Posse sent me this  message loud and clear at a time when I desperately needed reassurance that there was meaning and reason to everything.

immigration photo             OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was also present when my grandma crossed over in 2006.  I was 40 then, and it was the first time I’d ever seen anyone die.  Grandma was 98 and had been in a nursing home for several years, confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak or do anything for herself.  But whenever I visited, she understood what I said to her, she could laugh, and her grip when she held my hand was strong.  Even though she lived a full, long, life, I still wish she were with me today to continue to share in all my experiences and enjoy my stories.  I will forever be grateful for the special message she and Ur-Oma sent me.

I think to myself now that if thestrals were real, I’d be able to see them, along with Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood.  And that would be a privilege, not a curse.

A Night At the Roxbury photo courtesy Paramount Pictures & Wikipedia