“Whether a hawk, an eagle or a tiny hummingbird, all birds awaken a sense of wonder and enchantment by their ability to fly. They remind us that we all can rise above our circumstances. They are the ultimate symbols of transcendence.” ~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small
I am a person given to signs and symbolism, which is something I have mentioned in the past. I guess when you’re going through a process in which so much is left to chance, and at so many junctures, all you can really fall back on is good old-fashioned hope, and the signs the universe presents.
As the fate of IVF cycle #5 hangs in the balance this week, it has been birds that have become pregnant with meaning.
In many cultures, they are seen as the link between heaven and earth, and represent everything from freedom to transition. They are also believed to bring all kinds of messages.
Now, bird sightings in the tropics are not entirely unexpected, but when a couple of specific birds seem to vie for your attention, it makes sense to give them a second thought (and a disproportionate amount of Googling).
My visitor today was the Black-naped Oriole, which I have discovered symbolises that the worst is over (not sure if that means the flu or infertility), heralding better days and a coming of sunshine. Orioles apparently appear when you’re losing hope, and need to remember the simple things that make you smile. And the sight of this fella perched outside my office window certainly gave me reason for pause.
“…its clear, cheery song and bright colors are signs of new golden sunshine about to enter into your life… Watch for sunshine to show up in any area of your life within a two-week period, mainly because the oriole eggs, usually four to six, hatch in two weeks. Pray and meditate with the oriole for any project in order to help it come to fruition or move along smoothly within a two-week period.”
I’m quite in need of sunshine and at least two weeks of luck, so thank you Mr/Ms Oriole for swinging by.
My second visitor in the last week was a rather majestic Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) which is quite something else, especially when it’s over 3ft-tall and sitting on your patio sunning itself.
This gorgeous creature is deeply symbolic to many cultures around the world, as this article explores. What makes them physically remarkable is the casque that sits above their beaks, as well as their lavish eyelashes (you can read more about their distinctive anatomy here).
In Sarawak, home to 54 species of hornbill, the bird signifies the spirit of God and is incorporated into their arts, dances, carvings and ceremonial dresses. The Dayak, Iban, Kalani and Punani people of Borneo consider them messengers of the spirits and symbols of virility. And in the Ivory Coast, they are regarded as carriers of life and a symbol of continuity to future generations.
“The most obvious case is the extraordinarily strong beak which is a symbol of power. However the characteristics and behaviour of the bird are simultaneously representations of the male phallus, the act of intercourse and the female mothering instinct.” – Ibanology
So there you go – one week, two messengers.
To be fair, they were among many feathered friends who tend to come around – pigeons, little robins, even a rooster who rises well after noon (I’m sure there’s a story there). But these two seem have sought me out at moments I most needed some hope, and so they have both my respect and attention.
Hopefully, they will help me soar through this cycle. Whenever it happens.