Jo Ann Jaacks: Signs, Omens and Manifestations

a hawk

a hawk

/ Jo Ann Jaacks

On a recent early morning, I awoke as usual to darkness. Walking into the kitchen, I thought ‘Who turned the lights on?’ A wide streak of bright orange played across the windows. It took a few minutes to realize this was a most unusual rainbow. When I made a morning stop up the road, a neighbor asked me, “Did you see the Orange Rainbow?” The remarkable part of this was the lack of rain the night before, or that morning.

When I returned home and prepared to throw down corn chips to my family of black birds, for the first time I noticed a small hawk standing on the wires. The hawk was paying no attention to the six black birds that appeared and flew off with chips in their beaks. The hawk was steadfastly watching me in the window.

None of this surprised me, because I’m well acquainted with signs of all kinds. I think it began when my baby brother Andy died in a motorcycle crash at an early age. I hired a mason to use the stones from the stone walls surrounding my house at the time, to build an Irish cairn in our backyard and planted a weeping cherry tree in front of the house. An arborist told me the weeping cherry would not flourish at the bottom of the steep hill with the type of soil there. But it did.

That was the beginning of bunnies that appeared to me. I walked my dog up the road every morning, and the next day after planting the weeping cherry tree, my Pomeranian stopped in her tracks. She was staring at a bunny that came out of the woods and was staring at me. When my dog barked, the bunny disappeared so fast I wondered if I imagined it.

I did my own walk then, in a nearby park. Halfway through, I heard rustling in a low bush and slowed my pace. When a bunny hopped out and stopped in front of me, I asked “Andy, is that you?” After a short pause, the cottontail ran back into the bush.

Now I realize that not everyone understands my crazy enthusiasm and beliefs, but there are some manifestations that are generally accepted by many people. Case in point: finding a bird feather on your path is a gift from a loved one who has passed. I take it a little further and pick up the feather to add to my collection. Basically, I believe that every strange occurrence we encounter is a puzzle for us to decipher, and if not in this lifetime, then the next.