Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.
The other day I saw a bald eagle. It was so large and it’s head so white I thought it was a lawn ornament someone stuck way up in the tree. And then it moved. I was mountain biking down by the river and I happened to look up and see it sitting there, stealth as can be waiting for the fish. It reminded me of the day we came home from Mexico. It was early March and those bald eagles had already left the area for the spring but they came back the day we came back and they stayed until the day after Axel’s memorial.
I’m a skeptic at heart. I can easily see how that’s just a coincidence. A mystery to be solved if I looked hard enough. We tend to notice what we want to notice. And yet.
About a month after Axel died I felt the need to talk to someone. But I didn’t want a therapist because I knew nothing was wrong with me or needed to be fixed. And I’m not religious so talking to a pastor would not really help me. So I found myself looking on the Boulder Shambala website to see if anything jumped out. When we lived in Boulder we use to go there for mediation courses or just to simply meditate. I loved that place as it’s an introvert’s dream. No praying, no group chit chat, no chanting, no singing, no weird yoga posses or holding hands. You sit down in silence, someone leads you through a meditation, you relax, you go home.
While on their site I came across a woman that was launching a book on grief and she described herself as an intuitive. I really had no idea what that was but I was in grief and she seemed to have some answers. So I called her.
What did she say?
Turns out her main “gig” is being a career intuitive. She helps people find their dream jobs or least get out of the job rut they are in or help them think about new opportunities after losing their job. Probably not a coincidence that one of things she really focused on was telling me I need to write and get out of Corporate America. Maybe she saw my layoff from IBM coming down the line in a mere few months.
While I haven’t gone and written an entire book or jumped with both feet into writing I know that I will get there. I did keep writing this blog, writing in a few other places, and writing for myself. I do think she was right and that one day writing will play a more central role in my life.
Next she told me I was going to have another child. I insisted there was no medical way for me to get pregnant. She just told me there are many ways to make a family and that she clearly saw us as a family of 4 and it was happening in my 40th year.
She also told me she saw the four of us (yes the four of us even though there was only three of us at that point) traveling around helping other people.
We talked about other things and I liked her. She seemed to get a lot of things right. And still… I was skeptic.
And yet the signs came so often it was impossible to be a complete skeptic. In those early days I wanted signs, I asked for signs, and yet when I got them they scared me or I blew them off.
Like one morning that first summer when we woke up and found our back deck almost flooded. The hose had been turned on. I quickly blamed it on the dog or Kalden. That somehow Campy or Kalden had turned the water on during the night. It didn’t seem plausible, but what else? Then it happened the next night. All of a sudden I had a vision of Axel in Mexico. Almost everyday he would “sneak” over to the pool hose and turn it on then he would run off and laugh. Or we wouldn’t realize the water was still on until the patio was covered in water. And then he would really laugh because he got away with it. He liked mischief. It was game on. He did this almost everyday. So that morning I acknowledged and thanked Axel for his sign. We’ve never had that hose “turn on by itself” again.
And of course the hearts, we see the hearts everywhere.
So now I find it’s better to sit somewhere between the skeptic and the all believing. The universe is talking to all of us. Some, like the intuitive lady, get the messages loud and clear. Others, like me, have learned to slow down and listen even though it all still seems like a mystery. I have no idea what’s going on. I have little control and little choice in the big things. I do find when I accept and validate the signs life gets a little easier and there is a bit of light in the darkness. If for nothing else it’s easier to live with mystery than to solve and answer everything. The need for certainty has a price I don’t want to pay.