My dear heart, Laura, was born 62 years ago today. She has been ‘gone’ nearly 3 years, almost the same amount of time that we were together. And still I feel her presence so sweetly and vividly. I used to think that she was reaching out from ‘the other side’ (wherever that is), but now I believe there is no other side, it is all one continuum and we just haven’t learned how to see and experience it fully – yet.
It is Laura’s birthday today, but I am the one who got an extraordinary gift. Yesterday I walked into Carl Schurz park and said ‘Laura, send me something lovely’ (as I sometimes do) and within a few minutes a beautiful white dove alighted on the path in front of me. I thought that was my treat, so I walked on contentedly and reached a quiet area near 85th street where I noticed dozens of pigeons massing in a tree.
When I stopped to take stock, it was like a signal to the birds. They started to dive directly at me, flying over my head and shoulders. Oddly I wasn’t scared. I felt exhilarated. They came quickly in to land in a tight circle around my feet. I counted over 100. They stood, puffed up, cooing and looking at me. They weren’t pecking for food or walking around, just standing and staring in a ring that extended to about 5 or 6 feet away from me. I can’t tell you how extraordinary it felt; how calming and protective. We all stayed like that for 5 or 10 minutes and the birds didn’t move until eventually a lady with a dog approached and they slowly flew away. Towards the end, I kept saying ‘thank you’ over and over. I don’t know why, or what the birds meant. But I know how it felt – otherworldly, precious, dare I say divine.