As we approach the darkest time of the year, my thoughts go to more spiritual things. I’ve started ruminating about spirit animals lately. I always thought that my spirit animal was a rabbit because I have always been so timid and easily frightened away. Now, those who know me well, know this to be true. Those of you who only know me through my music or teaching may find that hard to believe. My secret is … I am a very good actor and play a part when in public. I think I do it well, if I do say so myself. However, in normal social situations, I have to work hard not to just go run and hide. Luckily, I’ve had some good teachers who showed me how to function gracefully in those situations. Recently, I’ve come to realize that I am less rabbit-like and much more bird-like. I’m certainly not flighty, but I do fly away easily when startled. And … I sing. When I’m outdoors singing, many birds come by and sit in the trees nearby singing with me.
The funny thing is that I was terrified of birds after seeing Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds.” I was home alone at night as an adolescent watching it on television. Back then, there weren’t many scary movies around, so we were much more easily frightened by films than kids are today. It took me years to overcome that fear, but now I don’t mind them flying around me – except for seagulls. They still make me shiver. But as for other birds, I love watching them, and I love singing with them.
After thinking about this quite a lot, I finally took one of those silly online quizzes, “What is your spirit animal?” I got a hawk. Reading it, I realized how accurate much of it was. I also realized how much I would love to be able to fly, soaring above the earth, looking down at all of the activity below. I’m not sure I’d enjoy being out in the weather all the time, living in a nest and all that goes along with that, but I’d love the rest of it. I also remembered how many times birds have appeared in my dreams. From now on, I’ll be paying closer attention to what they are telling me. So, how about you, have you ever wondered about your spirit animal?