When Animals Speak
September 1, 2011 in Spirituality
Friends and family threw me an early surprise birthday party last Saturday evening. The music, dancing, food, and karaoke were a wonderful change of pace for me since I spend most of my time in front of a computer. Of course, attending a party doesn’t keep me from looking for a new writing topic and I found one.
It literally flew around my head throughout dinner as we ate on the back patio. Then, a couple nights later, it appeared again while our family was sharing a cigar. The new topic was a bat.
I don’t know what kind of bat. It just flew around, darting to and fro. I assume it was harvesting bugs. We could often feel a breeze from its wings as it dove around us. I’ve lived here more than twenty-three years and this is the first time we have ever been visited by a bat.
I have learned to pay attention whenever an animal shows up on our property for the first time or does something unusual. The first time this happened, I was walking across the campus at East Carolina University trying to figure out what to do about a situation when I met an opossum on the sidewalk.
In my eight years of going to school and working around the university, this was the only time I ever saw an opossum on campus. Rather than demonstrating the “playing possum” behavior and rolling up into a ball, the animal looked at me, nodded its head, and smiled. I nodded in response, as if the animal was another student. I went on my way with the answer to my question. I was to “play possum” in response to the situation. I did and it was good advice.
Since then, meadowlarks helped us make a decision to move from North Carolina to New Mexico, a rainbow showed us where to buy a house, and owls still show up to tell us a positive financial change is about to take place.
This spring, a cardinal appeared twice in one day. Cardinals don’t live in the southwest. We had previously never seen one here and I don’t know of anyone who has ever seen one here in the wild. The local zoo unsuccessfully tried to keep a pair on display for a while back in the 1990s. It was odd to see cardinals in a zoo because I saw them every day while growing up in Virginia and going to school in North Carolina. Both states claim it as the state bird.
The cardinal brought multiple messages to us about family, business, and relationships. In fact, I devote several pages to this story in my upcoming book More Growing Softly Stronger in the Cracked Places.
With all these experiences in the background, I realize the bat has something to tell me too.
I’ll write about that in an upcoming article.