I believe some people are more in touch with the universe and its inhabitants than other people. I visited a spiritual intuitive (the real ones don't call themselves 'psychics') a few months ago, someone I had never met, and who knew absolutely nothing about me but my first name. It was an incredible session, and I won't go into it here. I just want to preface this entry by saying that she pegged me as someone the cosmos was sending birds to, that birds would be important to me, that birds would come as signs specifically for me. Basically, I should pay attention to the birds, she told me. I was stunned, thrilled, and deeply amused that the universe should be able to communicate so much that's already inherent in me to a complete stranger.
I had a harrowing five minutes earlier this week. It was the first time in my six or so years of nannying that I've lost a child. He ran off playing tag with a friend, and a crowd separated us. I was confident he would not cross the street, as he's a very rules-oriented kid, so I chatted for about 30 seconds with the mom of the friend he'd run off with. When I realized I could no longer see my charge, I grabbed girl-child's hand and we walked calmly in the direction he had gone. I looked up the block, down, and across, but he wasn't in sight. I thought asking the school crossing guard might yield information but she, instead of helping, went on a tirade about lazy babysitters. It was while she was talking to me and I was trying to keep girl-child calm ("this is not like him," she said, squeezing my hand) that I looked up. Far off and high in the distance, three great blue herons flew through a great blue sky, legs trailing behind. I understood instantly that things would work out fine and that boy-child was safe and would soon be returned to me. It was a split-second of utter calm when I realized the universe was sending me a sign, one I had forgotten to ask for. Moments later, with the crossing guard still jabbering, I heard someone calling my name - the friend's mom, right where I had left her, with both boys safely returned. Thank you, thank you, thank you, my heart cried to the universe, for their safe return, for a lesson learned, and for my first sign.