Most religions teach that we have spiritual companions–angels, guides, totems, the higher self–they have lots of names. I believe I have spiritual partners on my journey, but sometimes they feel like imaginary friends, and I just want one of them to sit at the foot of my bed and have a conversation with me like any two people would.
Sometimes, I can’t stand it anymore and beg for evidence–demanding something tangible to make me feel less alone. I have been doing more of that lately, while also asking for insight, guidance, and intervention without ceasing. Last night, I had the most amazing shift in perception, and this morning, I woke up and saw a pile of gray beside the shelter in the goat pen. On closer inspection, I saw that it was a great-horned owl.
I read up on how to rescue raptors on the Internet. Poke ventilation holes in a box, put a towel in the bottom, get another towel, and take the whole shebang out to the raptor. Then cover the raptor with a towel, wrap it up, and put it in the box. My 10-year-old son courageously took on the task, and soon the owl was in an undignified position on his back in the bottom of the box–defenseless against the affectionate petting of an enamored boy.
I took it to our local falconer, who immediately determined that it had a compound fracture in its left wing. He said he’d take it to the vet, nurse it back to health, and then determine whether it could survive on its own in the wild. If it couldn’t, he’d try to find a zoo or other institution that would take it in.
There was something about having the owl only a few feet away and looking directly into its immense eyes that touched me to the depths of my soul. I feel blessed and less alone. The chances of this happening when and where it did are so slim that I feel I’ve been given the tangible gesture of spiritual solidarity that I craved. And tonight, I don’t feel quite as alone.