I’ve always been an early riser; I simply must. It is my time to “sit ugly” and spiritually and mentally prepare for the day. As I sip coffee, I often stare out the window, enjoying the rising of the sun and watching the birds fly in for a snack.
In our backyard is a bird bath that serves as a way-station for the many birdies that frequent our neighborhood. They nibble at our bird feeder, get a little drink and take a little bath…then fly off again to decorate the trees and sky with their beautiful colors. Our bird feeder is guaranteed to be squirrel proof, but still…you know how crafty those squirrels can be.
A few weeks ago I glanced out the back door, checking on my plants, the bird feeder (aka squirrel feeder) and saw two small owls sitting in the bird bath! They were sitting side by side, turning their heads, acknowledging the blue jays and pigeons who wanted their turn to bathe. The owls would drink, splash and then sit perfectly still while their heads turned side to side. I ran to get my camera and tried taking pictures through the glass, but that didn’t work. So, I gently opened the back door and snapped away. I thought this was just a fluke, but so far, every day at 6:30 a.m. my owl friends drop by for a bite, a bath, or a drink. Maybe owls like to ‘sit ugly’, too.
After the first few times I saw them, I thought perhaps it was an omen. Maybe it was a sign I should pay attention to, so I googled “owl visits” and “what does it mean if you see an owl?” Lots of things popped up, as you might imagine. Much of it was about finding your Spirit Animal and Native American folklore. Was an owl on my totem pole? I really didn’t know.
However, as I read, it boiled down to two main messages: consistently seeing owls was either a sign of really good luck, wisdom and magic OR a really bad sign, like imminent death! YIKES!
After reading for awhile, I came to my own conclusion. Perhaps our backyard was famous in Audubon circles, and these owls wanted to check us out. Maybe God simply wanted to bless me, a faithful early riser, with a beautiful surprise. What if the message was, “take time to be present, notice the glorious world in your own backyard”?
A few days ago, I stood waiting at the backdoor, taking my first sip of coffee and wondering if my friends were on their way, when all of a sudden...there were three. One little owl would bathe then fly up into the tree and the other two would come down to splash. They all three took turns and rotated branches and birdbath; then they flew away to do whatever they do during the day. Perhaps sleep.
I’ve haven’t seen the 3rd owl since that day. Some mornings only one will show up and some days two. I suppose one day, my owl friends will move on and find another a.m. stop-over. Meanwhile, I’ll continue my morning ritual and maybe keep the camera nearby just in case my owls fly in…..that sounds like a wise thing to do, don’t you think?