One morning last week on my walk, I saw a fox. Not once but twice. The first time he strutted right in front of me (crossing the road), turned to me and smiled, like “How you doing, baby?” and kept on his merry way before I could even think about taking a photo. He was beautiful.
As I marveled at this rare occurrence (and turned around to make my way home) I glanced toward the water and there he was again, galloping across a snow-covered lawn. That time he ignored me completely.
Please know that even though we live in the woods, I never see anything unusual on my walks. I mean, I see crows and seagulls and squirrels and chipmunks but that’s about it. So to see this red beauty twice was pretty special.
I immediately reached out to my friend T who is in touch with all things native and symbolic. She told me the fox was telling me to “observe the acts of others rather than heeding their words.” Foxes are cunning and adaptable, with swiftness of thought and action.
Hmmm. I just filed that into a mental pocket. Because I do believe that sometimes we get a sign from The Universe which may not instantly be understood.
I was, however, reminded of another fleeting (flying) symbol that I witnessed shortly before Christmas. Again I was walking and listening to Vince Gill sing “It Won’t Be The Same This Year,” a song about the first Christmas after his brother died. And I immediately thought of my friend E who lost both his wife and his father in 2020. And I sent off a “prayer” asking for angels to comfort him. At which time a hawk flew out of the woods, circled around my head and disappeared back into the trees. “Oh, Hi N,” I whispered (N is E’s wife), “and of course I know you’re an angel so you can take care of this one!” It was a glorious, big-smile moment (and E really loved the story).
And then there’s opera. I’ve been adding some new (old) music to my phone, including some songs from La Traviata (my favourite opera). My parents dragged me to countless European opera houses, hoping to instill in my 11 year old brain a love of their favourite music. I didn’t actually think it worked (I fell asleep more often that not) until many years later I found myself glued to the television watching Verdi’s work and then begging my then-husband to get tickets so we could experience it live.
Now this music is on my phone. And last week on my morning walk, an incredible aria showed up on shuffle. It was one of those weird cloudy morning where the sun was playing hide and seek. As I listened to the soprano with chills on my spine, I looked up and said, “Mommy and Daddy, are you listening too? Do you understand this gift you gave me?” And just as the violins crescendoed magnificently, the sun burst out of the clouds in an intense blaze of glory. Talk about a sign for The Universe?
I just about fell down.
I did fall down a dew days later, only because I was zoned-out (listening to music) and I tripped over a blob of snow. I staggered home all achy and sore, only to discover that our furnace had died.
Were these signs from The Universe?
I believe they were. Because even achy and sore with no furnace (we have a gas fireplace and an electric heater so no one froze) I was reminded that my problems are first-world. Eminently manageable. That evening I baked and cooked happily. Even with a stiff neck. Because I had been reminded to count my blessings, even in this land of Covid-fatigue.
These signs don’t just arrive when I am walking in paradise. Memes show up on my Facebook feed that I KNOW I must share with friends. I will come across a random news article I KNOW my son should read. I will meet someone new and know instantly we are meant to be friends. A stranger will reach out to me and I will understand the BIG reason why.
You want a sign … just be available. They are everywhere.
So back to The Fox. I would like to believe that I am “cunning and adaptable, with swiftness of thought and action.” I’m not so sure, though, that I am so good at observing actions. I am a word-girl after all. Too often I get lost in a beautiful sea of eloquence. Too often I can forgive an action (or lack thereof) because the words have soothed my soul. Too often some clever shark will “lawyer” me with just the right argument to win the day. Those succinctly-articulated seemingly-measured words will lull me into acquiescence. Oddly enough, sometimes no words at all will have the same effect.
I’m still not exactly sure what I am meant to wake up to.
But thanks to that fox, I am awake and ready. I will henceforth be adjudicating actions. Not just words. Yeah, okay, maybe some words … but mostly actions. Because The Fox said so.
Because I DO believe in signs from The Universe.