A Message in the Grackles

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

In tune with the earth, many of our ancestors revered fall as a time to celebrate the harvest, and at it's end, the completion of the cycle of life, which of course ends in death. I think in our current society, death is often feared and the slightest hint of it's ultimate arrival is met with resistence. Getting wrinkles? Try this face cream made of stem cells (no joke, I read a pamphlet on this in a plastic surgeon's office before- I was there for resconstruction after a squamous cell removal on my face, nothing fun, although I did enjoy looking at the stacks of breast implants and all of their different shapes and sizes in the consulting appointment!). Or, rub these volcanic stones on your face, or get a chemical face peel. Drink this elixir and your will keep your memory, FOREVER!

In my late 20's I began to explore energy work along with some ancient pagan traditions around the seasons. I learned that traditional "witchcraft" can actually just be a way to align your way of processing with the earth's cycles and movements, along with setting intentions to manifest your own destiny and personal growth. It became villified as something dark and sinister with the advent of Christianity as priests set on a voyage to squash female-lead cultures and individual based spirituality. How could "the church" profit or gain real estate if women were empowered and worshippers got to keep their own land? Samhain (which our American holiday Halloween has evolved from) originated as a Celtic spritual tradition that celebrates the division of the light and dark phases of the earth, and marks the beginning of the Celtic year. A celebration of death of the harvest, and of ancestors gone before us. With the low light it is a time where introspection and inner work is encouraged, and the veil between our world and the spiritual one is thin.

In October 2018, my husband and I lost a baby on the way. Nathanial was 16 weeks in my womb, and despite being with us such a brief time and the fact we didn't get to meet him in the outside world, I felt deeply connected to him. There would be times I would feel that he wanted extra love, and I would put my hands on my belly and send him lots of reiki and unconditional love. I would feel it back in return. Each of my children let me know what kind of music they loved while in the womb which has rung true for them in life on the outside. Nathanial seemed to love classical music that made you think of the emergence of spring. The sort of light, harp-heavy songs that make you think of scenes like Snow White dancing with blue birds in the sun-dappled wood. When we lost him I was sent into a tailspin of mourning, and learned how our society finds emotions other than happy or pleasant to be inconvenient and that there is an unspoken time limit to space for grief. Oh! And also how miscarriage is not spoken about and unfortunately women are not prepared for this as a very possible part of pregnancy, and often suffer the loss in silence.

After reading "No Mud, No Lotus", allowing myself time to grieve and cry alongside my husband, lots of love from family and of course our first son to focus on, I began to come out of the sharp feelings of loss. We hoped to conceive again, but I did find out that I was in peri-menopause and had ovarian failure. But around this time in 2019, we had embraced whatever was to be will be, and planned a family campout out on our land. I was going to run to the store to get a few provisions for a weekend in the tent, and when I turned on my car a song was on that instantly connected me to Nathanial. How beautiful, I thought! Memories floated in my head of putting my hands on my belly in the shower and feeling the love flow between us. And this time, I was not sad but happy. As I turned from the driveway I immediately pulled over and my jaw dropped. Hundreds of grackles were flying directly in front of my car. Making their seasonal journey south in impressive murmuration. But now, they were moving with Nathanial's music. As the music rose, the bird’s wings gathered in crescendo. It was as if each bird was sharing their determination and beauty, and I sat in awe, crying tears of joy at such an amazing gift. I managed to catch the tail end of it on video and have shared it here- make sure your sound is on!

When it was over, I began driving, thinking how odd it was to return to this world after a visit from the spiritual one. Heading to Market Basket felt perfunctory. But then I got another message: pick up a pregnancy test, you might be surprised. When I got home I took the test just thinking that I was following intuition, but that any outcome would be okay. I could not believe that a very faint line showed I was indeed pregnant with our little girl. I was so grateful to our spirit baby Nathanial for being the one to tell us the news, and for that beautiful gift and visit. This time each year I look for the grackles, though I know I am connected to him always, despite us being in different worlds:)

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