On the way home today from walking a friend’s two dogs, I saw something fluttering in the road ahead of me. At first, I thought it might be some large bizarre butterfly that had been hit by a car. But as I drew closer, I realized it was a small bird that had been hit recently by a car and that it was dying. Probably a sparrow, nothing as large as blackbird.
I swerved around it and immediately thought I should turn around and rescue it. But I’ve done that before and because birds are so fragile, those that are rescued usually die. Then I considered turning around and running over it to put it out of its misery. In the end, I did neither. That in itself is a choice.
I knew it meant something. All too often, animals – especially birds – have been agents of synchronicity. But I didn’t have any idea what it might mean. Maybe I was making too much of it, I thought. Maybe it didn’t mean anything at all. But it gnawed at me.
That evening, Rob and I were were scheduled for a radio show and from the first moment to the last, it was a disaster. We were like the fluttering bird in the middle of the road. The host was completely disengaged, hadn’t read our book, and ended what was supposed to be a 90 minute show in half that time. In all these years of doing radio shows and podcasts, that has never happened.
Yes, it’s possible I’m making too much of a connection between that fluttering bird in the middle of the road to the radio show. They may not be connected at all. But synchronicity, at least for us, often works like this.
Years ago, we walked into our family room and found a frog, our totem, dead in the middle of the room and the next day, Rob’s mother called to tell him his father had had a stroke and was in hospice. The night before our dog, Noah, passed on, I found a dead frog in the hallway. I’ve also found live frogs in various rooms around the house and, according to the meaning of the room, we’ve landed projects, earned good advances, and won awards. Decisions have been confirmed, warnings have been issued, but always, there’s an awareness of something at work here, a feeling you have that whispers, Pay attention, this is important.
The challenge with synchronicity is that you can’t always decipher the message until after the event has occurred.