Blue-and-yellow Macaws. Photo Credit: MaxPixel. (CC 0)
I found myself in the world of the late eighties with a complete loss of identity and direction. My first marriage had ended. I was living in a small town in rural Louisiana, trying to gather my energies to begin again. My professional life was in upheaval; my personal life was a disaster. Nothing looked promising on the horizon, and I was in serious depression. That's when my first significant experience with feathers happened.
Part of my daily routine, despite my depression, was a three-mile jog. I ran a three-mile circle on a country road, starting at my house. Before I ran, I always drew a line in the dirt in front of my house, as my start and finish line. The road was usually deserted, except for an occasional car. Along the way, tall pines, hickory trees, and oaks lined the road. A section of wetlands edged up to one section of the road, and I sometimes saw egrets, herons, and other water birds.
I Could Really Use Some Magic In My Life
On this particular day, I was running because I could not think of anything else to do. The constant rhythmic pounding, though, was not driving away my demons. I still felt depressed and lost. Tears ran down my face as I jogged. I barely noticed the beauty of the deserted road. Occasionally I heard the mournful cries of mockingbirds; they seemed to mock my tears and loneliness. About halfway through my run, I remember thinking, "I could really use some magic in my life."
Richard Bach's book, Illusions, floated through my mind. I had read it two years before and was deeply moved by it. I decided to see if I could "magnetize" a blue feather. Following the instructions outlined in the book, I closed my eyes, pictured the feather in my hand, and surrounded it in golden light. Then I emptied everything out of my mind and ran and ran and ran.
By the time I finished the run, I felt like I was flying, I was running so hard. When I crossed the "start/finish" line I'd drawn in the dirt, I almost stumbled in shock. There was a feather lying right on the line!
I ran past the line a few feet and slowly walked back. I stood there for several minutes, just looking at the feather. When I picked it up, my shock doubled -- I had never seen a feather like this. It was a brilliant deep blue. The reverse side was a beautiful gold.
The Magic of the Universe Exists
Several months later, I was teaching karate near a pet store. During a break, I went inside and saw a macaw. That's when I knew that the feather I had magnetized that day belonged to a macaw -- a bird I had never before seen.
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I know many things can be explained, but I'll leave it to you to decide what the odds are that a macaw would drop a blue feather on a line I drew in the sand on a dirt road in rural Louisiana on the very day I decided to magnetize one.
Today we live in a world in which there are few heroes, no magic, no wonder, and, for many, no future. That day, the magic of the universe happened to me. Not to someone else. To me. I cannot deny it, and I'll never forget it. The message that day was simple: Magic exists. You can't explain it, you can't control it. If you could, it would not be magic; it would be science.
The blue feather is a tangible reminder of what I can't see and can't imagine or understand. I am an old cop and I believe in evidence. The blue feather for me is magic, good luck, positive forces, and evidence. It allows me sometimes to go to a place I need to be and be reminded of what I most need to remember.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Adams Media Corporation. ©2002
Sacred Feathers: The Power of One Feather to Change Your Life
edited by Maril Crabtree.
The selections are arranged in four sections: The Mystery of Feathers: Mystical Messages from the Spirit; The Power of Feathers: Messages of Healing and Transformation; Light as a Feather: Messages of Freedom, Surrender and Letting Go; and Where There's a Quill, There's a Way: Messages of Love, Strength and Courage.
About the Authors
Robert M. "Bob" Anderson, Ph.D., author of this article, is human resource director for the Brown Schools Public Education Division for the state of Texas and is president of Instructional Services, directing client companies in the areas of safety management, human resource management, quality management, and management development and training. He can be contacted at [email protected]
Maril Crabtree (who gathered all the writings collected in the book Sacred Feathers from which this article is taken) is a writer, energy healer, spiritual coach, and wisewoman. Her award-winning poems, inspirational essays, and articles have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. She has presented workshops on "Finding Your Feather Connections," "Renewing the Sacred Rhythms of Rest," "Moving with the Spirit," and "Creating Your Life Through Writing." Visit her website at www.sacredfeathers.com