(This time of year the loved ones we’ve lost are especially close to our hearts. In that spirit, sharing one of my blogs from a couple years ago).
If you’re a regular reader, you know that my “religious beliefs” are more aptly described as “spiritual” and that I lean heavily toward the New Thought movement in terms of what I believe about life, death and everything in between. In my pursuit of knowledge and learning in this subject I have read many books by many authors.
One book I picked up recently is an exceptionally good read in this genre for newbies to the concepts that you create your own reality. It is easy to read, simple to understand and comes as close as anything else I have read or watched (movie) to being a “primer” on how to learn what is meant by “your thinking determines your experience in life”
E-squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality, by Pam Grout sells for $2.51 for the Kindle version or $4.49 for the Nook version (you’ll pay a bit more if you want to hold the paperback in your hands) and is part chronicle of Pam’s travel along a path similar to many of us in the “seeker” classes, and part laboratory manual for “New Thought 101”.
I downloaded and read the book over a 2 day period. I learned nothing new, but still loved the simple way Ms. Grout presented the principles I have learned to be true in life. So, if you’re curious about people running around talking about manifesting things, or how they changed their thinking and changed their lives, you will enjoy the book.
Now, on to the main point of this post and why there is a chicken pictured at the beginning.
Last night as I sat on my couch before retiring for the evening, I was pondering the funeral service I would be attending. My Aunt, my mother’s last remaining sister, died earlier in the week and I would be attending the funeral the next morning. Recalling Pam’s guidance in E-Squared, I felt compelled to put the intention out “there” that I would see or experience something supernatural during the time we were there for the funeral; something positive, and affirming, but supernatural.
The word supernatural is comprised of 2 parts: super-which means ‘above’ and natural which means in essence things that occur without man’s (or woman’s) influence; “of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.”
I put that intention, or thought out there, and then went to bed.
The next morning I had forgotten about my intention, and found myself not only saddened by the passing of my Aunt, but remembering the still-raw pain from losing my granddaughter, Elise not even a year ago. The short trip from the funeral home to the little Catholic church in the small Ohio town was somber, and as my Uncle and cousins emerged from the limousine, tears were flowing all around. My mother stood with my uncle, waiting to step down off the curb and into the street to cross over to the church entrance. Before they could move, a small, black banty chicken came strutting across the street and made a beeline for my mother and uncle. We were in town, not on a country road and there were no farms around within chicken-walking distance.
My uncle pointed at the chicken and asked my mother if she had come with us. He was joking, but you had to wonder where this single, small black chicken came from! The chicken followed us across the street and made quiet “chicken sounds” as she pecked around between the adults who were assembled at the bottom of the steps outside the church. My cousins, who had taken their mother’s sudden passing pretty hard as you would expect, began to laugh as they told stories of how their mom (my Aunt) LOVED chickens. My uncle recalled that if she saw chickens when they were driving that she would want to stop and look at them, and someone else mentioned that she talked to them like some of us talk to our dogs and cats.
My mother reminded us that she had chicken and rooster decorations all through her house years before country decorating was chic and I then recalled the plaster cast chicken and rooster wall decorations that hung in her kitchen throughout my childhood years.
This small, black-feathered chicken with plumage on her feet continued to hang out, moving between my uncle, mother and cousins, which to this farm girl, was something of a miracle. I grew up spending a lot of time on my grandparents’ farm and they had chickens. Every time my grandpa went into the henhouse, it erupted with feathers and a ruckus so loud you could hardly hear yourself think! It seemed that although he went in there every morning and every evening like clockwork, they were ALWAYS startled and surprised to see a non-chicken come in that door. To see this little chicken bobbing around under the feet of a group of adult humans was to my experience, something quite rare (dare I say “supernatural”?).
After a few minutes, the priest came to the back of the sanctuary and motioned for the family to assemble for the procession into the church. This was a small family gathering, maybe 20 of us, and as we made our way up the steps and into the narthex, this little chicken followed us. We began to wonder if she would hop up into the church! She certainly seemed interested in going with us, but as she crested the top step, someone eased her to the other side of the large wooden doors and closed them.
After the service and burial, we assembled at the local hall for the traditional funeral luncheon and the chicken became a topic again. Some thought that the chicken hung out around the church, but the funeral directors, who do a lot of “business” with the church and are local, had never seen it before. We all began to speculate about that chicken and stories began to emerge of similar “visitations” of uniquely-colored butterflies, hummingbirds and other critters who showed up at timely moments and in the context of the person who had passed while acting differently than they would under normal circumstances.
We may never know the ‘why’ or the ‘what’ of that little black chicken, but from our mixed bag of religious beliefs and practices we agreed to a person that there are many things that we don’t understand and that cannot be explained by religion, or science.
I requested a supernatural experience and we got a chicken; a small, gentle chicken “dressed in black for the funeral” as someone said with a giggle. And on this sad day we were able to laugh, and smile and think about the mysteries of life and death as we said goodbye to my Aunt, rekindled our family ties, and remembered that regardless of what you call ‘God’, s/he works in mysterious ways.