Do you ever feel the need to get away and just have solitude? Just be alone where you can hear your own thoughts? I am a people person, so the need for solitude isn’t usually a yearning for me. Recently I had that yearning to find a place where I could be alone and talk to the Big U (Universe, God, Source, Higher Self, etc.). Now you think because I live in Chicago finding space for solitude would be challenging, and often it is, yet not on this warmer than normal weekday in February. The lake called me and I went. Now, I talk to the Big U all the time, but that day I felt called to the lake to talk about a friend in need. As a matter of fact, when my head is full and I’m unsure what to do next, I go to the lake.
A woman who I adore was in the hospital, very sick, and I was being told she probably wouldn’t make it. So, I went to the lake and walked out at the end of this pier with a rock that had the word wholeness written on it. As I walked out, realizing there wasn’t a soul around, I took it all in. The beauty of the lake, the starkness of winter, the cold of the water, and the seeming distance I was from my Chicago. I could see it, but it felt a lifetime away.
While I walked, I took pictures of my journey as I love to capture what I’m seeing/feeling on my phone. If you know me then you know my phone is often close by and I’m most likely taking pictures. I took pictures of the pier, the gulls, the sun shining on the lake, and the city in the distance. I planned to video my tossing the rock in the lake to send to my friend’s daughter, but the Big U had other plans for me in that moment. As I started talking to the Big U about my friend, sharing how many people were praying for her and loved her, I looked down at my phone only to see it was dead! Moments before it was at 60% battery and now it’s dead?! I talked a little more urgently to the Big U in a plea to please give my phone life even if only for a few minutes to capture this moment. I paused, pleaded, and tried to turn my phone on, but it wasn’t meant to be. A few deep breaths later, I continued my conversation asking for my friends highest good to occur, tossed the wholeness rock in the lake and headed back to my car as it was getting dark outside.
So, as I am walking back to my car, I decided to walk through a bird sanctuary & nature preserve right by the lake. It’s a small area and I know my car is on the other side. I couldn’t see the road, it’s getting darker, and knowing I can’t use my phone to call someone or use the flashlight, I was getting nervous. I am directionally challenged and I wondered if I was going in circles. I’m nervously laughing at myself as I’m in the city of Chicago (north side) wondering how long it would be before I had hypothermia because I was lost. Right then a Cardinal was 15 feet from me in the center of my path. I said hello beauty and he flew into a small tree right next to me, he was no more than three feet from my head and stayed perched there. He seemed to look at me intently. I told him how beautiful he was and did he know the way out. He didn’t answer, but kept looking around, looking at me, and a couple times opened his mouth as if to talk.
I couldn’t believe how close he allowed me to be to him as I wasn’t even standing still…yet he stayed. I thanked him for staying with me. I told him I didn’t want to leave him but it was almost dark and I needed to find my way out. I told him my address as I don’t live far and I have a tree outside my bedroom window so he can come visit anytime. He calmed me down and I changed directions from the path he had blocked and was out of the preserve in minutes and back to my car.
As I started my car, I was truly overwhelmed with appreciation for my walk. I already believed that the Big U had my back and that whatever goes on in my life is to serve and not punish me, but in that moment, I not only believed it, I felt it. The Big U put that Cardinal in my path knowing I would pay attention. For a moment, I forgot about my friend in need and I forgot I was lost and nervous. I was in pure appreciation and astonishment that this beautiful wild bird sat so close to me for so long. I felt my dad there, now gone nearly 11 years, as he was always there when I was lost and would help me find my way.
That walk reminded me that even when you are in fear, whether it be fear of losing a friend, or fear of being lost in a wildlife sanctuary, or perhaps feeling lost in your life, that you are truly never alone. The Big U (or whatever name you choose to use) is there walking with you in celebration and sorrow. Take a moment, quiet your mind, open your eyes, and be willing to see the mysteries and magic of life from something as simple and yet personally profound as finding a Cardinal on your path.
Until next time, care to take a walk with me?
PS. My friend is doing miraculously well. The cardinal – I expect to cross paths with him again…especially if I find myself lost.
Words to Live By:
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” Audrey Hepburn
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” ~ John Muir
“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ~ Albert Camus