Nature · Spirituality

Spirituality: Desperately Seeking Faith…(and A Seagull?)

Searching for a path to faith. October 5, 2013

I’m always seeking something grander and larger than myself in this world. No, not someone taller than me because that is pretty much everyone. I’m talking about something even bigger: I want my spirituality back. I want my spirituality back like Stella Got Her Groove Back. I know it is possible. I remember sitting in the various college chapels and really feeling a warmth in my heart. It was not heartburn, but a true radiating warmth in my chest that I visualized looking like the sun. I want to get that back again.

There are times when I begin to feel my spirit come back. It comes in flashes like when I helped an imprisoned man learn more about his family through documents held in my library. There is the beauty of the sun, a smile and laugh with friends, or a quick glance at a piece of art or photography. All of these things are terrifically special to me, but never seem to be enduring. I guess because in some way I know I will always help people, as it is my nature, and I will find special hidden “Easter Eggs” that bring me joy so long as I seek them out.

I am just thinking this through, as I write, but you have to seek the higher power if you wish to uncover it. Seek it or know it exists inside, and trust that it will remain there if the belief is maintained. Trust.

Where is this going, right? Come along for the journey as I trust in the writing process to discover that which I know still lies in my heart.

This is not the seagull depicted in the story. It is another seagull that hung out with me, though.

I had an experience recently that was as close to a visit from a higher power than I believe I have ever experienced. I encountered a seagull. Typically, I yell at them to “shoo,” and can’t stand the unwashed masses that feed them, but this gull was different. He was just completely, ontologically, there. I sat on my beach chair next to my car, and looked up from time to time from my book. The gull walked over to the front of the car, then out away from the car about four feet, then back toward me and the back of the car, always keeping an appropriate boundary between us. Then, his friends flew in, about ten seagulls, to the patch of sand just to the left of the car. They canvassed the area looking for food, or more likely, someone to feed them. I looked back at my book, shifted around in my seat, and changed the channel on Pandora as I saw they were still milling around. I wasn’t thrilled that they had arrived, but they were respecting my space. Soon, two or three at a time, they flew away, leaving only the one seagull left: my seagull. I knew it was him because his coloring was quite unique, and I have a great eye for costume, hue, and plumage.  I nodded to him, and he paced back up to the front of my car, and then back a bit to the center patch of sand. My attention returned to my book, the music (now Bill Evans, Miles Davis’ piano player), the waves, sun, and sand. The next, and final time, I looked up the seagull was gone. I felt a little sad. He (or she) had been with me the whole hour I had been at the beach. Ten minutes later I got up to retrieve something from my car, on the ground I found a single, seagull feather. The feather seemingly came out of nowhere. It certainly was not there when I sat down. It could have come from only one place: my one and only seagull. I picked it up and placed it inside the flyleaf of my new journal.

The last two months have been rough, really horrid, so to see this sign of hope and spirit was exceptionally meaningful. It meant that it was possible to be the girl with the sun in her heart once again. It meant if I sought out a path to spirituality that worked for me I could have, dare I say, faith again. I could trust in, and return onto, a path to some contentment and peace.

I learned and felt this through a seagull. I’ll never call them “flying rats” again out of respect for my special friend, who is out there tonight, flying over me, keeping watch.

One thought on “Spirituality: Desperately Seeking Faith…(and A Seagull?)

  1. This is beautiful. Yes, often our fellow (non-human) creatures are some of the most wonderful messengers to remind us of the spiritual substance of ourselves.

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