Yesterday I saw an owl.
This is apparently not a huge deal, as I posted it in awe and wonder to all of my various facebook friends, who then chimed in with things like, “Oh I see them every week.” “There’s an owl who lives in my backyard.” “Basically I eat dinner with owls every evening and I let them in my house to torture my children into eating their vegetables and then we laugh and drink wine together.”
But for me, this was a big deal.
For as long as I can remember, my mother has been on a quest to see an owl. Seriously, a quest. She recorded owl hoots on a tape recorder and snuck around our small town, holding the tape recorder into the trees and hoping that the owls would hear the mating call and come flocking to her. They never did. She stopped after a few narrow missed police encounters when she was “disturbing the peace” with her owl calls. It was all very Say Anything, except interspecies and not in a sexual way.
So yesterday, when I stepped out of the car after an evening dinner with my husband’s family, and there was a fucking owl sitting right in our tree, looking at me with his badass heart-shaped face and everything, it was a huge fucking deal. I was on the phone with my grandmother at the time, and she instructed me to immediately hang up and photograph it. Which I did.
After this relatively unsuccessful owl photo, it got disturbed by my impending flash and flew away, probably to eat a rodent. It was too late for me to facetime my mother.
But I did call her, right away, and she shared my owl sentiments. She squeaked and squawked and hooted right over the phone, trying to lure the owl back via speakerphone. I think the owl sensed my mother’s desperation, because it didn’t return.
Owls are symbolic of wisdom. The first time I ever picked an “angel” card, was my first night of yoga teacher training with Emily Darling. I picked the card that said “wisdom.” Well that makes sense, I thought, because wisdom is something I’ve been seeking my entire life. I’ve never been all that into fashion, or cared much about current events, but wisdom on the other hand… Wisdom was worth seeking.
The second time I picked an “angel” card was again at Emily Darling’s studio. I don’t remember why, or what event it was – maybe her Thanksgiving Day class, or a satsang – but I again picked the “wisdom” card. Which is really freaking weird, given that there is only one wisdom card in the whole fucking pack, and now I had picked it twice.
And every time I seek out my spirit animal, I think it’s going to be Miley Cyrus or Jack the Ripper or a squirrel – but it’s a fucking owl.
An OWL, man.
And then an owl shows up on the tree that I freaking hate, the sweet gum tree, in our front yard, after a weekend of arguing with my husband, and on the night of the new moon, and on the night of the morning that I started my Lakshmi sadhana, which I’m hoping will help me find “forgiveness” which is the angel card I picked on New Years Eve for this year.
That dumb owl, reminding me to “be wise” and find forgiveness for myself, who is often an asshole, and for my husband, who is so passive sometimes I could smack him, and for Lakshmi, who is also so passive I kind of hate her when I think about it too much. Like hey Lakshmi, why don’t you bring yourSELF out of the damn ocean, instead of making everyone churn it for you to coax you out? GROW SOME BALLS, LAKSHMI.
But alas, this owl was here to remind me: forgiveness. What a bullshit term. But, it’s all in good time, my friends. I hope this 40 day Lakshmi sadhana will give me some compassion, and the ability to nurture (which is Lakshmi’s great gift and of which I possess about 0% capabilities), and maybe even some owl-ish wisdom.
Anyway, yesterday’s new moon was a great time to start something new. Missed it? Good news – this Wednesday starts the season of Lent, so you’ll be starting new habits for forty days amongst all of the beautiful Christians of the world. So find your owl, grab your angel card, and suck it up because this sadhana shit is not for the birds. (Well, maybe the owls.)