Friday April 5th 2013, for most people it would be an ordinary day of work, school, and a myriad of other more pleasurable activities than what was not to be on my agenda. My Friday morning consisted of waking up from a restless night of dreams that ran the gamut from weird to down right disturbing. I dressed in my best business attire in dread of what my morning was going to be filled with.
The morning drive from my humble Oswego apartment to the Kendall County courthouse is one that I can do in a coma. I have gone the same route more times than I really ever want to think about. The drive to this court house nearly three years ago that I took in sheer giddiness for the simple reason of taking the huge step of changing my name is now nothing but a distant and unrecognizable blur.
Every time I take this particular drive over the last year has been one portion of this hideous journey of divorce and wipes a little more away of any positive memories I have of that courthouse. As much as things have changed and how much I have moved on, each time before the judge is a moment now seared into every brain cell, a memory I would rather soon forget.
This Friday was shaping up to be no different. Stress, anxiety and just plain fatigue were more than taking over. But as it turns out, God had something waiting for me today as I pulled into the courthouse lot. As I was parking, my eyes caught movement in the crystal blue sky above. With the car in park, I focused my complete attention to the bird soaring on the thermals just a few hundred feet above me. I knew immediately what it was . . . . . a turkey vulture.
Yes! Even I laughed at the over whelming symbolism displayed before me. How ironic that a vulture, a symbol of death, was circling over my divorce.
But for me, a person who absolutely loves nature, I saw this as a sign, a good omen if you will. You may laugh at this, but I love these birds. They may not have the beauty of a Bald Eagle or Osprey or the stunning speed of a Falcon, but I have such a respect for these birds. These birds are beautiful and have been designed to serve a vital roll in the ecosystem.
Regardless of how they look with their pitch, black feathers and a head of reddish wrinkled skin, the next time you see one, whether in a zoo or in the wild, take a look into it’s eyes. They may not display the majesty of an Eagle or the intensity of a Hawk, but I see a pride in the bird. They have an assurance that nearly no natural predator will harm them. They know their place in the food chain.
They know they have a purpose.
You may think that a bird that puts its head into the cavity of rotting flesh has nothing to offer in the way of a life lesson. You may think that a bird that can detect the smell of decomp from miles away has nothing to offer you. But for me, I see a strength in a bird that travels thousands of miles in its migration. I see a bird that can adapt to new surroundings and live even in the most hostile environments North and South America can offer.
A vulture flying over ones divorce may be the very essence of irony, but for me it was sign that life can be drawn from something that has died. God reminded me today of the fact that, though my marriage ended, my life didn’t. I can look at my life and know that life does continue on. There have been many times in the last few years that I felt lost after years of being partnered with someone. But I can take away from this 19-year experience and use parts of it to build up my new life.
I thank God that I can look at a bird that many look down on and see that if it can find its place in the world, so can I.
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