Signs of (mid)Life

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

While my dental hygienist, Betsi, was preparing her torture tools for assault on my teeth and gums this morning, I spied a hummingbird moth out of the picture window in front of me. I don’t see them often, so I got up from the chair, still wearing my purple paper bib, to get a closer look. It was hovering around clusters of small, late-summer flowers. I studied it for a few seconds, noting the striping on its body and the speed at which its wings moved to keep it aloft. Betsi told me she sees them in the flowers outside that window on occasion. I told her I hadn’t seen one in a couple years. I sat back down, put on the cheap, protective sunglasses she handed me, and tried to settle into my happy place for the cleaning. I kept thinking about that moth, though.

This evening, when I went to take the trash out, I noticed from the corner of my eye something buzzing at the garage window. I am not a fan of any sort of insect in our house or garage, but I am especially not a fan when they are large or noisy enough to draw my immediate attention. I’m even less of a fan when I am the only one at home to deal with them at the time. I walked closer, already planning how I would aid in its necessary exit, and discovered it was another hummingbird moth. How odd not to see one for years and then to see one twice in one day. I opened the garage door, turned off the lights, and waited for my light-seeking visitor to fly away.

I’m not superstitious. I don’t believe in destiny or fate or soulmates or divine intervention of any sort. But I do believe in the power of life’s chaos and the doors it opens. If you are really paying attention as life swirls around you, you begin to notice life offers directional signs. We don’t always see them because we aren’t always looking. I have been guilty of not paying attention to them most of my life. For decades, I went along in my inner bubble, fully convinced I knew who I was and where I was going. I was wrong, though. That false image of me burst eight years ago and, since then, I’ve undertaken the tedious process of observing my behavior, questioning it, ameliorating it, or at least acknowledging it on some level, and learning from it. I’ve also started noticing my surroundings more and paying greater attention to my senses, especially my intuition. Intuition helps you to see signs.

With the second appearance of the hummingbird moth today, my curiosity led me to read up on it. I learned that hummingbird moths are considered a lucky omen. A swarm of them is said to have been seen flying across the English Channel on the day of the Normandy landings in June of 1944. I also read:

“A moth represents tremendous change, but it also seeks the light. Thus, moth spiritual meaning is to trust the changes that are happening and that freedom and liberation are around the corner.” (Dictionary.tn)

So, there is my sign. I saw a hummingbird moth today, on two separate occasions in two different locations, during a time of tremendous change in my life when I find myself looking for the light. I’m going to consider this a good omen. I’ve been wondering since we left the boys at school a few weeks ago how I would get through the transition from stay-at-home parent to, as my friend, Kathy, prefers to label it, “lady of leisure”. This morning, I woke up still curious about my future plans. Then, a couple moths told me to trust the changes and know that freedom and liberation are here. All of a sudden I’m not so worried about what I will do next month or next year or next decade. Yeah. Life is different now, but different doesn’t have to mean bad. What if, and hear me out on this, what if my next twenty years are my best years? It could happen. I’ve been surprising before.

Oh. And I still don’t like bugs. But I’ve decided moths are more okay than the rest.

Facebook Knows Me Too Well

Yep. There’s witchy old me again.

A while back I wrote a blog about fate, coincidence, and signs. My premise was that life presents you with signs that attempt to nudge you in the direction you’re supposed to be heading in this life. If you’re paying attention and are self-aware, you will notice the signs the first time they present themselves to you. If you’re not, the signs will keep appearing over and over until you take notice and then hopefully hop aboard the clue bus and go forward. I still believe this to be true. In light of this belief, however, I’ve been struggling with something that keeps happening in my life.

Just before Halloween and in honor of that spooky holiday, I changed my Facebook profile photo to a shot of me in a witch costume I wore to pick up my boys from school last year on October 31st. It seemed appropriate to deck myself out on Facebook for one of my favorite holidays. I thought it was kind of a cute idea. On November 1st, I promptly removed the photo of witchy me and replaced it with a photo of me from our trip to Moab last spring. For the past two weeks, though, that photo of witchy me keeps reappearing randomly as my Facebook profile photo without my changing it. It’s happened both on my iPhone Facebook app and on my Facebook page on my MacBook. Now, I’m sure this is nothing sinister, but it’s starting to get a little weird.

When I see that witchy photo, I go in and change it back. Simple enough, right? No need to freak out about it. It’s probably just some sort of mix-up with the cookies from the Facebook app, right? It’s definitely not some type of sign. If it were, what would it be a sign of? I should do some serious research into Wicca because perhaps that is my calling? I should wear black more often? Hats really work for me? Tonight, I told my hubby about it.

“You know that photo of me that I put up for Halloween?” I asked.

“The one of you in the witch costume?” he replied.

“Yep. That one. Remember how I told you a week or so ago that it was back?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I changed it then and today it’s back again,” I said. “Do you suppose someone is trying to tell me something?”

This is when he began laughing.

“What are you laughing at? This is not funny,” I said, right before I started laughing too.

“I don’t think the universe is trying to tell you that you’re a witch,” he said and gave me a hug. “But, it is a pretty big coincidence,” he added in that quiet sort of way that’s meant to be an underhanded remark. Then he started laughing again.

“Fine. Side with the universe. And Facebook,” I said as I changed the photo back to the one of me in Moab on one of my happiest days ever.

Now, I don’t really believe the universe is trying to send me a message with the repeated appearance of that witchy photo, but it does kind of bother me a bit that Facebook seems to know me a bit better than I think it should. 😉