As I am sitting at my computer with a warm cup of huckleberry tea my Dad brought back from the their West Coast travels, I actually started typing this week’s blog on another topic when I got to thinking of an encounter I had this week and with Awareness being my word of the year I decided I should change it to a FEATHER. My heart is truly filled with gratitude and thoughts of this circumstance and hope I don’t go too deep for most of you but felt lead to share this unusual topic.
I was working out in my yard, finishing up some Spring Cleaning and I noticed this fairly large FEATHER floating around it would fall to the ground and then a breeze would catch just the right angle and it would go up into the air going a little further before touching back down to mother earth.
I assume it was a duck FEATHER since we have two ducks that return to our neighborhood every Spring. I saw they had arrived last week, there used to be three but now only two and they usually nest in my friend’s backyard. We see them waddling around the neighborhood and when they are in our yard and the grandkids are here we take a few slices from a loaf we have and feed them bread crumbs. They absolutely love it. It amazes me how the ducks return to this same neighborhood year after year.
The FEATHER reminded me of a scene in one of my favorite movies Forrest Gump, there are several scenes that resonated with me for example Forrest is sitting on the park bench, maybe “Takin Time Out” and this FEATHER is floating through the air…it goes up and it comes down it is slowly traveling through time, the chorographers did an amazing job in showing the reflection of the FEATHER in the window of the car driving by, it slowly sways back and forth until it finally lands on Forrest’s shoe. Bob Dylan’s song playing in the background “Blowin in the Wind”. Do you remember that scene? It’s sorta freeing to me…life can be this way if we give ourselves permission. But how often do we really allow ourselves to do this?
To me the movie portrayed the challenges and experiences of the life of Forrest as well as his childhood friend Jenny and the bad choices she made throughout her life. Both Jenny and Forrest were searching for meaning in their individual lives. For years, the two were separated from one another. It seemed to me the only time they were at peace was when they were together. Forrest was a star athlete, an honored soldier, a man of great loyalty he accomplished so much yet many treated him less than a man. He was a do-gooder yet so many viewed him as a little different. Jenny on the other hand pushed life’s limits and made some very bad choices along the way with drugs, sex, & drunkenness. Simply put her life was a mess. Don’t we all know people like both of them? Do you remember the last scene of the movie where Forrest is at Jenny’s grave and he says “I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think it’s both”. Then the FEATHER appears again floating away…
Let’s do a little exercise, I want you to close your eyes and think about either the scene in the movie or visualize a FEATHER how light it is how freeing what kind of bird did it come from? Can you hear and feel the breeze as it’s floating up and slowly coming down…now think about your life…are you weighed down with heavy burdens, responsibilities of daily living, regrets of bad choices you have made along the way? Or are you free floating lightly through life? Take a deep breathe slowly and breathe out even more slowly…imagine the lightness of that FEATHER…what changes can you make in your daily routine to free up some of the burdens that weigh you down? What can you delegate to someone else? Who can you hire to help complete some of those projects or who can you trade services with if you are on a tight budget? How can your life become light as a FEATHER? Now is a good time to begin to make a few of those changes.
I did a little research on the true meaning of a FEATHER and it is amazing how far back in time and the meanings of FEATHERS are. Did you know the symbolic meaning of a FEATHER dealt with ascension and spiritual evolution to a higher plane? FEATHERS were worn by Native American Chiefs to symbolize their communication with Spirit, and to express their celestial wisdom. It represented the power of the thunder gods, along with the power of air and wind. The Pueblo Indians would pay homage to the FEATHERED Sun which is a symbol of the cosmos and the center of existence. Another symbol meaning of FEATHER also revolves around prayer, and the Pueblo used FEATHER sticks as they dance in prayer for rain during solstice rituals. Maybe we should try that as we all in the Midwest and South are due for some much needed rain.
The Egyptians believed that FEATHERS were symbolic of sky gods too. In Christianity FEATHERS represented virtues. In fact, an image of three FEATHERS were made into signet rings, each FEATHER symbolizing Charity, Hope and Faith. These rings were worn as a symbol of a virtuous soul. I love the reassurance of God’s love for his people found in Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with his FEATHERS, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Thank you Lord this brings me comfort.
How many of those little sayings you hear as a child growing up come to mind that have the word FEATHER in it?
“Birds of a FEATHER flock together”
“To FEATHER your nest”
“You could have knocked me over with a FEATHER”
“Fine FEATHERED friends”
“To ruffle someone’s FEATHERS”
“To be tarred and FEATHERED”
“To smooth someone’s FEATHERS”
“To shake a tail FEATHER”
“It’s as light as a FEATHER”
“A FEATHER in your cap”
Amazing to me how for generations these sayings connected to FEATHERS have developed and why?
The colors of FEATHERS have meaning too. White FEATHERS are for peace and calling a truce, peacock FEATHERS (oh how beautiful these really are) are for pride and red FEATHERS are for war and strength.
I also think of Ben Franklin and all of our forefathers how they would write in that beautiful penmanship or handwriting with a FEATHER pen dipping it into the ink bottle. The little scrolls they used with each letter. That truly has been a lost art.
I love my FEATHER pillow and how I can wad it up under my head at night for a perfect nights sleep. How many of you decorate with FEATHERS, I have several FEATHER balls in a bowl and love my pheasant feathers in my floral arrangements. My cousin has the most beautiful fanned turkey FEATHERS her husband shot hunting one season displayed in her foyer. Little girls love playing dress-up with their FEATHER boas. Yes, they do make a mess but oh what fun, lighten up remember?
As I close out for this week, I found these 20 life lessons Forrest Gump taught and encouraged throughout that wonderful movie. As you are “Takin Time Out” this week, think about how many apply to your daily life and if you haven’t seen it I suggest you rent it:
1) Don’t be a FEATHER in the wind, take ownership of your life.
2) Determine to work harder than the normal people do
3) “I’m not a smart man…but I know what love is.”
4) “Run, Forrest, Run!” – Fight for disability!
5) Not only strive for success, but also to be of value
6) Have a good mentor
8) Keep your promises
9) Focus what you are doing
10) Don’t get distracted
11) Be persistent
12) Put the past behind you and move on
13) Do what you want to do in life
14) Start small
15) Keep perspective
16) Enjoy what you are doing
17) Give and Take
18) Be a great parent
19) Don’t do stupid things
20) Life is like a box of Chocolates
Hope you enjoyed my blog on FEATHERS, until next time my friends…”That’s all I have to say about that!”