A message from A Red Winged Blackbird

He reminded me to Pay Attention

A story:


Once upon a time there was a very sad woman sitting alone and reading.


It was a very bleak time in her life.


A red-winged blackbird had a message for her. He went to great lengths to get her attention.


He flew from the cattails in the river up the bank, under a tree, around a corner and swooped beneath a gabled doorway to hover and stare directly at her though the window.


He hovered there until, finally sensing something, the woman looked up from her book.


What she saw was a rather insistent looking bird hovering and staring straight at her cocking his head left, then right.


Startled, she sat up and asked the bird “Can I help you?” 

The bird simply continued to stare, and cocking his head from side to side. Then he blinked and swooped off.

Of course, that woman was me in 2005 – Crazy, I know!

It was a time in my life when I felt a wee bit crazy.  I was doing some emotional healing at a beautiful little hermitage in Central Minnesota called Dwelling in the Woods.  I felt the bird had been sent as a messenger.  The message, although I didn’t know it at the time, was my calling.

Flash forward a couple of years, and many red-winged blackbird encounters later (they’re always swooping my little volkswagen beetle).

Through a long and arduous journey, I eventually made the decision to become a Certified Martha Beck Life Wayfinder Coach and, to specialize in creative entrepreneurs.

It was only then that I thought to look up red-winged black birds in a book on animal totems. Here’s what it said:

Those who possess blackbird medicine sing a song that awakens people to their hidden potential and help them to find their true purpose in life.  They bring the touch of poetry, music and inspiration to all that they do.

This all happened 3 years before even a thought about coaching ever crossed my mind – I guess that red-winged black bird knew something I didn’t!


This story supports what I’ve always instinctively known – but somehow need to be reminded of now and then – to pay attention – to the synchronicities and serendipitous events of our lives.

That in a creative recovery” as Julia Cameron, author of the ARTIST’S WAY says ” (we need to) take seriously the possibility that the universe just might be cooperating with our new and expanded plans.”

So, now, when I pass the many red-winged black birds we have here in Minnesota, or hear their song or see a picture of any black bird, I say a silent thank you.  And I’m reminded again to PAY ATTENTION to the reminders and the ways the universe is supporting us all in our creative and expanded plans!