The Omen in the laundry room

Nowadays any mention of an actual dialogue with the Almighty can elicit whispers that… You’re “batshit” crazy. Now, I don’t profess to have a back and forth dialogue with God, where I receive a response from the heavens with the requisite booming voice.

Through the clouds
Through the clouds

But –

On the contrary, my divine intervention comes through loud and clear, albeit subtly. A prime example of this took place last week. I was at home,  fumbling around in the basement rec room when I heard a rustling noise in the adjacent laundry room. I made my way towards the closed door to open it and cut on the light and I was shocked by the sight of something flying in my direction at a high speed.

I let out a stream of expletives and shut the door, quickly. I stood there for a couple seconds, trying to process what it was that I saw… Was it a bat, a bird, but more importantly how did it get down into the basement? After the initial shock wore off, I started surveying the area looking for something that I could use as an appendage to do battle; with whatever “it” was flapping about in the adjacent room.

My son who was upstairs, heard all of the commotion and bellows down the stairs to ask what was wrong, after expressing skepticism at my account of what happened, he bounds down the stairs to see for himself. As soon as I open the door to the laundry room…

The door to the laundry room.
The door to the laundry room.

“It” shoots out into the recreation room and the scramble to keep it contained downstairs began in earnest.

Over the course of the next 20 some odd minutes, my son and I were engaged in a tense standoff with a black crow-like bird about the half the size of a football. After darting in our direction while flying back and forth between the rooms it came to rest on a storage unit and I remember thinking that it was rather sinister looking, peering at us with its head tilted to the side.

I start strategizing, sending my son upstairs to gather items that we could use to subdue the crow. When my son makes his way back downstairs, we take an inventory of our weaponry:

  • A pillowcase filled with shoes
  • The broom from the kitchen
  • A can of air freshener

We take a deep breath, grab a pair of Chicago themed hats, pull them down over our eyes and we gave each other a nod of implicit understanding that we have to take the crow out before “she” (wife/mom) gets home… The thought of her filling the air with a high pitched scream is a motivating force of sorts as I make my way back into laundry room.

It was eerily quiet as I tried to place where it was. I heard some rustling to my right when I caught sight of it in the corner of the laundry room… I poke at it with the broom and it takes off again, this time it flies into a small opening in the drop ceiling of the rec room.

Quick thinking on the part of my son ended up bringing the standoff to an end. He tossed me the bottle of aerosol air freshener that I sprayed into the opposite side of the drop ceiling which flushed it back into the laundry room with me trailing it. I was finally able to knock it to ground with the broom, which cracked in half upon impact. As the bird was squirming underneath the broom I remember thinking…

“This is a big ass bird!”

Realizing that my house shoes were ill suited for the task… I ask my son to grab my boots from upstairs while I kept the crow/bird pinned under the broom. I was out of breath, mildly pissed off and the hour of reckoning was here. It let out an unearthly squawk as I step on its head and it finally stops moving. In one quick motion, I sweep it up and dump it into a kitchen bag that my son is holding.

My sense of relief was followed by a sense of foreboding as I recalled a story that a client told me about a bird flying into your home being a bad omen. I remember her telling me that it happened to her twice. The first time it happened her husband shooed the bird away and three days later he was dead, the second time it happened it was her aunt and she succumbed in 3 days as well.

For the sake of curiosity I did a web search about birds flying into your home and got confirmation of it being a bad omen as it echoed what I heard from my client.

Now…

More than a week after the event…

Thankfully, I am still in the land of the living, along with all of my family members. A couple nights ago I had a bout of insomnia and sketched out the outline of this piece as I came to the realization that this “omen” may have some validity to it.

Upon further rumination I’m convinced that this “death” is a metaphorical one. Over the course of the past couple of months, I’ve seen a light at the end of the tunnel, accordingly I’ve been diverting my gaze out of fear. Being at the precipice of completing my first book along with my son preparing for college is admittedly shaking my foundation.

This crow wasn’t an omen or a harbinger of bad tidings, but instead it was the divine intervention that I alluded to earlier…

God’s message to me… Is clear.

Fear is illogical…

Harboring fear of the unknown is wasted energy, especially when considering that it is more logical to fear that which we know. Accepting that I have to face the proverbial rustling behind the door and dive head first into the fray.

As that which is intended for me will not be given. I accept that I will have to be the aggressor, because enveloping myself in the known is cowardice.

I fear staying stationary, settling only for being the person that I am, instead of aspiring for something greater. What I want is simple… I want to be consequential and that can never happen if I refuse to die to what I am and resurrect myself in the new.

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