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Nature’s Omens and the Armoire

This weekend for the first of my two days off I chose to avoid crabby grocery shoppers and take the Saturday morning 30-minute drive to interact with other joyful writers at my Writing and Well Being workshop. A few miles into the journey, I noticed the katydid clinging to my passenger mirror as I sped sixty miles an hour down the highway.   It was still there when I reach the parking lot, so I got out for a closer inspection. He/she was two inches long from start to finish; a stunning lime green with bright lemon yellow eyes and svelte legs and antennae. He/she looked up at me as if to say, “Thanks for the ride, loved the adventure.” Astounded by her persistence, I greeted her with a polite, “Hello there, Baby,” and headed to class.

When I came out two hours later, this amazing creature was still there. I chose scenery and a roundabout ride for the route home, along the Niagara River. Construction brought an unexpected delay of thirty minutes. Katydid minded not, holding on for the duration and still when I pulled into the driveway. I greeted her (my eventual gender assumption based on her level of patience) again before heading into the house, seriously doubting whether she would ever bother to use her legs again now that she had discovered her own personal, effortless Uber.

An hour later when my son returned home, I noticed that she had moved to the backside of the mirror, so I intercepted him on the sidewalk to introduce him. Impressed both by her story and beauty, he photographed her. By now it had been six hours since she followed me home, earning her “pet” status at the Dahl house, so we named her Katy. She was still present and photographed more when his friends arrived and met her one by one. There she remained until 5:30 pm when a downpour sent her away. I announced that her presence must indicate a good omen. My son doesn’t disagree. The remainder of the day held a glorious rainbow and an unsolicited hug from my sixteen-year-old nephew, miracles that validated my theory.

Sunday brings more to celebrate. It arrives with a clear blue sky, perfect for traveling by the water again. No workshop, katydid or construction this time. I’m instead on a mission. A trip across the bridge over the river begins with a delightful surprise when I get to the toll taker, hand outstretched with my dollar. There is a short pause before old friends meet eyes and recognize each other, followed with a delightful mutual declaration of “Hey!” He refuses my fare as we try our best to do the one-minute catch up as the cars line up behind us. We bid farewell as I enjoy a laugh out loud moment across the bridge about the chance meeting.

I proceed across to the island where I am scheduled to pick up a rare gift for myself that I’ve been coveting and putting off for decades, a jewelry armoire.   As a single mom, this has until now, always been considered a luxury purchase, so my trinkets have been stored in three separate containers including a Tupperware box.   Children grown, I finally deem myself worthy of the expense, the last of my material desires. Nothing in my jewelry collection, even the pieces handed down through the generations, has any financial value. The priceless definition comes from my association with the meaningful sentiments that accompany them.   The contents of my mother’s jewelry box when she passed away, my high school ring, charms from my father’s college days, my daughter’s bead creations from her earliest crafting days until now and dozens of treasures gifted to me from friends throughout my lifetime.

The friendly dealer and I carry the oak cabinet to my car and I drive back smiling along the river slowly and deliberately, enjoying the morning sun sparkling off of the water.   Back at home, I must wait for my sleeping son’s assistance to get the armoire into the house. In the interim I write in my lanai. A guest arrives during my session, a large garter snake sunning itself in the freshly mowed grass a few feet away. Her markings and size make her immediately recognizable and unmistakable. It is her third time visiting in a month, and she stays for half an hour. Sensing another good omen, I speak to her as well. In the afternoon we bring in the armoire and I savor the experience of delicately placing necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings in their new home. Each assignment accompanies the memory of the person and occasion from which it was received. My heart floods with gratitude for having so many special people and moments in my life.

I have been blessed this weekend by what to the casual observer may seem like the most mundane circumstances.   Nature visits by an insect, a reptile and a rainbow supplemented by the delivery of a used jewelry receptacle. Yet, I can’t help but wonder if all of them may be related in some way. Wrapped up in a hug by a sixteen year old, they are a reminder to this writer that her life is abundant and perfect.

capture life writing


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