Bedazzled—Musings on this enchanted world

I’m prone towards visions and magical thinking. Sometimes this causes problems, but sometimes it doesn’t.

For instance, when I swim in a pool in a mountain river, I follow the water back to the nearest waterfall and sit under it. I consider this “shower” a blessing from the local water spirit, and what harm is there in believing that? Few things are as rejuvenating as getting doused by ice-cold mountain water.

Or, if I get buzzed by a bird of any kind—a crow across my line of vision while driving down the interstate toward primitive-skills camp, or a hummingbird peering at me in the garden—I interpret the feeling I get from the momentary encounter as an omen for what is to come in the very near future. This practice has never failed to yield a satisfying result.

On the other hand, six years ago I traveled to Orcas Island, in Washington State, to scout out its potential as my new home, and that night, after looking at properties all day, I had five unique and compelling crystal-clear visions and dreams about the island and one of the properties I’d liked very much, which convinced me to move there. That fateful choice set me on a path I wish to this day I’d never embarked upon.

There was the time, one October evening, when I pulled over to take a leak on the side of the highway in the Delta, and as I stood there I beheld the most magical scene I’ve ever witnessed: a vast cornfield bathed in the orange glow of a Harvest Moon, with a resident owl hooting across it. It was such an eerie moment that I became a little scared, and left. Since then I’ve never doubted the power of Halloween, if that makes any sense.

No matter where I live or work, I always look for magic in the world around me.

These days, here in West County, I commune mostly with the birds and the trees. A family of doves lives in the spruce next to my house, and the first morning I spent here, I dreamt about them. I felt they were saying Hi to me. And recently, the lighting during a rainy dusk turned so bright and orange that the forest took on a magical glow.

I wonder, as I live my days: What’s the difference between a “knowing” and a vision? I’m sure I’ll never know.

Mark Fernquest muses and meows in a glass house in West County.
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